Enter to Win a Freeburg Chamber Beer Bucket! 

Enter to Win a Freeburg Chamber Beer Bucket! 

The Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival was a big hit in 2018, thrilling the community, filling bellies, giving local businesses a platform to promote themselves, and raising money for two worth causes in our great community. A big part of that success is the triumphant return of the Freeburg beer bucket, which we sell at the Chili Cook Off with the option for refills of draft beer. For the last few years, we’ve offered the buckets with an imprint relating to the history of our community. 

In 2018, our bucket featured the antique pumper that has been a parade and display fixture of the Freeburg Fire Department. Once the buckets are sold, they are in private hands forever. The Fall Festival is the one and only place to get your hands on this beautiful, practical piece of Freeburg memorabilia that makes a one-of-a-kind addition to any home bar.

…or is it? 

This is your chance to get ahold of one of our commemorative beer buckets. We are giving away the last of our beer buckets on our Facebook account and our newly created Twitter account. 

Enter on Facebook by liking the post, sharing the post, and commenting below. Enter on Twitter by liking and retweeting. A winner will be selected at random and given this great piece of Freeburg memorabilia. 

If you miss out and want to get in on the action next year, be sure to like the Freeburg Chamber and the Chili Cook Off on Facebook for all the latest updates. Be sure to follow our new Twitter account for all the latest on the fun community events being organized by the Chamber. 

Save the Date – February 9, 2019

Speaking of great events, our annual banquet this year is can’t miss. For $40, you will get admission to the Freeburg Downs Mouse Races. These races feature high-end prizes, as well as marketing opportunities. You can sponsor a mouse by contacting Cindy Niebruegge at ______. 

With your ticket, you are also entitled to an all-you-can-eat prime rib dinner (with chicken breast also available), as well as an open bar. Please join us for fun, good food, better company, and a celebration of the vibrant business community in Freeburg. 

Freeburg Chamber Mouse Races Just Around the Corner! 

Freeburg Chamber Mouse Races Just Around the Corner! 

Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 9.  The Freeburg Chamber is holding its Annual Banquet in the St. Joseph Parish Center. Like last year, this event will feature mouse races. Attendees are given tokens to bet on mouse races, and can purchase more if they wish. If your mouse wins, you can win more tokens which can be used for large raffle prizes at the end of the night. We will also have a 50/50 drawing, lottery boards, and many more great prizes. 

In addition to the mouse races, tickets also include a prime rib dinner (with chicken breast also available) and an open bar! Tickets are $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. Tickets can only be purchased in advance by calling Cindy Niebruegge at 618-539-6000 or by visiting Citizens Community Bank, Niebruegge Insurance, or the Freeburg Village Hall. 

We also have sponsorship opportunities available. You can call Cindy at 618-539-6000 or Dave at 618-539-5878 to learn more about sponsoring a mouse or to donate to our silent auction. 

A Message from the Outgoing Chamber President, Matt Trout

A Message from the Outgoing Chamber President, Matt Trout

Dear Freeburg Chamber of Commerce Members,

I want to take some time to say Thank You to the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce and its members for allowing me to serve on the Board of Directors for 3 Years and as the President for the past 2 years. It is my hope that during my time serving as President, that I was able to leave the community a better place for everyone. I take great pride in the things that we were able to accomplish during my tenure.

This group has taken many steps to keep up with the ever-changing business trends and strives towards supporting the businesses in our town. The addition of the Business Luncheons has been a great success and heavily supported by those in the community. The Luncheons help us reach out to our business leaders and encourage open and honest discussion. I hope to see this event and other events continue.

We have also successfully launched a new website and generated a strong social media presence, allowing us the opportunity to communicate more efficiently about our events as well as topics that affect the community at large. The change in bylaws regarding meeting time has allowed the The Board of Directors as well as the Chamber body, to work with a more flexible meeting schedule to accommodate all members.

The overwhelming success of the The Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff cannot be denied. This event has become a “can’t miss” activity for families as well as business owners. In addition to providing a great community event, roughly $23,500 of proceeds have been donated to the Freeburg Food & Clothing Bank and the Freeburg Utility Assistance Fund. There’s nothing better than seeing the citizens of Freeburg coming together for a fun time, a great cause and seeing the proceeds going directly back into the town.

My hope as I step down is that the progress, we have made in the past several years continues to move forward so that we see even more community involvement, support of business development and the overall improvement of the town.

Thank you so much for allowing me to serve the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce and please feel free to reach out if I can ever be of help.

Thank you,

Matt Trout

Support Local Businesses on Small Business Saturday

Support Local Businesses on Small Business Saturday

Yesterday, Black Friday, kicked off the holiday shopping season with major retailers offering door buster deals. While the mad dashes and fistfights in line aren’t as prevalent as in years past, Black Friday is still a major shopping day. So is Cyber Monday, when the doorbuster move online. 

Nestled between these days is Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is a day designed  to remind you to shop local, and shop small. Instead of giving all of your business to big box retailers on Black Friday or online megastores on Cyber Monday, give small business a chance and shop local. 

In our community, many fantastic businesses owned by, operated by, and employing your friends and neighbors depend on your support. Please see what our community has to offer and shop local this Small Business Saturday, and throughout the entire shopping season. According to the SBA, 47.5% of the private workforce in the United States comes from 27.9 million small businesses. 

Make no mistake, this is no act of charity. Our community is full of excellent businesses that provide quality and value. To find a local business that fits your needs, check our directory. You can search by industry and find a local solution to your needs. Make sure to follow the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and LinkedIn for more updates and information on our member businesses. 

If you are not a member and would like to be listed in the Freeburg Chamber directory, you can become a member here. 

Freeburg Chamber Donates to Local Charities

Freeburg Chamber Donates to Local Charities

The Freeburg Chamber of Commerce recently donated the profits of our Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival in September to two worthy local charities. The profits were evenly split between the Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank and the Utility Assistance Fund. 

The Food and Clothing Bank is run by St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. The bank recently moved into a larger building 1050 N State Street. The Food and Clothing Bank helps between 30-40 families each month with food and clothing donations collected from around the Freeburg community.  The bank is open the first and second Tuesday of each month from 2pm to 4pm and the third Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. To contact the Food and Clohting Bank or donate, call 618.539.5070 for more information. 

The Utility Assistance Fund is also a charitable wing of St. Paul’s. They help those in need in the community struggling to pay their utility bills. Both the Food and Clothing Bank and the Utility Assistance Fund received $4,223.50 donations, equal half shares of our profits from the Chili Cook Off. In addition to these donations, the Food and Clothing Bank also held a food drive at the Chili Cook Off. Other local organizations also participated in the event. 

We are thrilled the Fall Festival was able to help these worthy causes. Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival a major success. Thank you to everyone who came out and ate chili, supported their local organizations, and ultimately helped us raise these funds to help those in need.

As the holiday season approaches, we highly encourage you support these organizations and the other not-for-profit groups in our area who help the needy. As you plan your charitable donations for this season, please keep them in mind. 

To get regular updates on next year’s Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival, like the Cook Off on Facebook and like the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce on Facebook. Just as a reminder, Chamber members are allowed free entry into the Cook Off, so consider that when weighing your decision to become a member. 

Freeburg Community Yard Sale & Sidewalk Sale September 15 

Freeburg Community Yard Sale & Sidewalk Sale September 15 

The Freeburg Community Yard Sale is coming up next Saturday, September 15 from 8 am to 2 pm. The Freeburg community will be jammed head to toe with individual sales. Stop by and find hidden treasures, and give some items a much needed new home. 

The Chamber will have yard sale maps available at local businesses on September 14 to make your shopping experience easier. If you plan on selling, sign up before September 10 to be included on the map. The maps will include the address and a brief listing of sale items. Maps will be available for pickup at Country Mart, Gary’s Restaurant, Midland States Bank, Regions Bank, Ace Hardware, both Citizens Community Bank locations, and The Freeburg Tribune September 14 and 15.

If you live on the outskirts of Freeburg and want to participate, spaces are available in the Freeburg Marketplace for you to sell your items. Country Mart will also be having a Fall Fest with events and attractions in the parking lot of the market place. 

To participate in the yard sale as a seller, or for more information, contact Carolyn Anderson at 618-539-5528 or mrsa417@att.net. Make sure and get signed up by September 10 to be on the map. 

If you’re looking for deals, or to discover hidden treasures, come check out the sales around Freeburg. While you’re here, please try the many great businesses in our community and enjoy the best that Freeburg has to offer! 

Annual Freeburg Chamber Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival September 29

Annual Freeburg Chamber Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival September 29

The Freeburg Chamber is preparing for the annual Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival to be held on Saturday, September 29 at the Village Square Park in Freeburg. Last year’s event was a big hit and we’re looking forward to another fun and tasty day at the park! The festival will be from 11 am to 7 pm. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank and the Utility Assistance Fund. 

The main event is the chili cook off. The winning team receives a $500 prize, and all teams that sign up before September 14 get a $75 gift card to Country Mart in Freeburg. The entry fee is $35, but Chamber members can enter for free. This is one of many benefits extended to our members, like exclusive networking events. 

The public will vote on a winner. Attendees can buy a round of samples from all of the stands, and will get a chance to vote on their favorite chili. There will also be a special guns and hoses competition between the police and fire departments, with separate voting. If chili isn’t enough for your stomach, the VFW will also be selling BBQ. 

Old fashioned beer buckets will be for sale that can be refilled throughout the event for a reduced price. The buckets are not only a great value for the beer itself, and handy to carry around the event, but they make for great collectibles and display pieces. 

There will be plenty of activities for young ones, including a large kids activity area sponsored by Hope Christian Church. The Freeburg Women’s Community Club will be having pumpkin and face painting as well. The Freeburg Food and Clothing Bank will be holding a food drive, and everyone who brings food items will be entered into a basket raffle. 

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get your business some positive exposure in front of a great crowd from around the area, we have event sponsorship opportunities available. Sponsorship information, as well as the entry form for interested teams, are attached below. For more information, email mtrout@freeburg.com or call 618-410-8077.

Sponsorship Letter 2018
Chili Cook-Off Entry & Rules 2018 2

Last Call for the September 4 Freeburg Chamber Luncheon! 

This is the last call for the quarterly Freeburg Chamber Luncheon scheduled for September 4 at Reifschneider’s Grill and Grape in Freeburg. The luncheon will be held from 11am to 1pm. 

Guests will have the option of soup and salad, six wings and a side, a burger and a side, or a quesadilla. Sides include fries, chips, slaw, or potato salad. Each meal includes a non-alcoholic drink and costs $10. 

As with our previous two quarterly luncheons of 2018, a new addition to the Chamber calendar, space has filled up quickly for the September 4 event. If you plan to attend, call 618-410-8077 or email mtrout@freeburg.com as we only have a handful of spaces left for this event! 

Chamber Luncheons include a brief keynote address from a guest speaker. The guest speaker for September is Judge Heinz Rudolf. Judge Rudolf has been an Associate Circuit Judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit in St. Clair County, Illinois since 2006.

These events, launched in January, have been extremely popular and we are looking into the possibility of expanding our offerings of lunch meetings in the future. These meetings get individuals who work in Freeburg but don’t live in Freeburg, a more convenient time to get involved with the Chamber. 

In addition to lunch and the guest speaker, the luncheons offer a relaxed, casual atmosphere for members to network and mingle. As opposed to more rigid networking events, our luncheons are a laid back, professional meal and a great chance to talk to other business people in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. 

The Freeburg Chamber has many exciting events coming up, including the Chili Cook Off and Fall Festival on September 29 and the Freeburg Community Yard Sale on September 15. At the luncheon, we will give attendees more information on these and other events upcoming in our community, and fill guests in on our plans to promote business in Freeburg in the coming months. 

The quarterly luncheons are just one of many benefits accessible to Freeburg Chamber, in addition to a free newspaper spotlight advertisement, social media promotion, other events, and more. Join us today and help us grow the business community in Freeburg! 

The Benefits of Joining the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce

The Benefits of Joining the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce

As a businessperson, you are no doubt hounded constantly by various organizations looking for your membership. We just want to take a moment to share some of the benefits of joining the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce. An annual membership for in-town is $50, $100 for out-of- town. The Freeburg Chamber is dedicated to providing the best possible benefits for our members to better help us serve the community. We are always looking for new ways to improve our offerings.

Access to Networking Events

As a member of the Freeburg Chamber, you get access to business networking events throughout the year. Our monthly meetings are on the second Monday of every month. Additionally, we have quarterly business luncheons throughout the year, a number that may be ramped up in the future as there has been much demand.

These are far from the only networking opportunities, as our summer months include an annual barbecue and the newly introduced Chamber Pool Night, during which attendees can bring their family (as well as staff and their families) to a fun night of BBQ and swimming at the Freeburg Pool. We also hold an annual Banquet for all Chamber members. Last year’s event included mouse races and prime rib.

Listing in Our Business Directory

Our business directory includes listings sorted by industry. With your listing, you can add your address, phone, website, and social media accounts. Our directory is easily accessible here, and is promoted through our marketing efforts.

A Free Newspaper Advertisement

Your membership in the Freeburg Chamber includes one free Spotlight on Business advertisement in The Freeburg Tribune. That advertisement carries a $48 value. The Spotlight on Business advertisement allows you to spotlight your services, location, or any other facets of your business for which you would like to raise awareness. These spotlight advertisements are also shared on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Facebook and LinkedIn

Members of the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce get access to our networking groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. In these groups, you can converse with other members of the business community in the Freeburg area and promote events, services, and products. We also share content from our members on our Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, which work to promote Chamber events and business in Freeburg.

Join Our Community

The Freeburg Chamber is dedicated to strengthening the Freeburg Community. We work to promote business, strengthen community bonds, promote cooperation between businesses and civic bodies, and to raise the quality of life for everyone in the community. Please join us and be part of our growing community.

Phishing Scam Targets Chamber Members – How to Protect Yourself

Phishing Scam Targets Chamber Members – How to Protect Yourself

A fraudulent email account claiming to be the Freeburg Chamber Secretary contacted at least one chamber member. The email asked for the chamber member to click a link to update their contact information and was signed “Chamber Secretary”. This email was not sent by the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce or any of its representatives, and represents a dangerous type of email scam: phishing.

 

For those of you who aren’t aware, phishing is when a scammer sends a fraudulent email claiming to be a company or entity that they are not in order to get victims to hand over personal information like contact info, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. At best, these attacks get the victim’s contact information. More malicious ones target bank accounts and credit cards. Other phishing scams include Trojan horse viruses or ransomware.

Ransomware is exactly what it sounds like – scammers get access to your data, your computers, or your network and hold it for ransom. These attacks can lead to money stolen from accounts, identity theft, and can cripple your ability to do business by wreaking havoc on your data and holding your ability to do business ransom.

How can you protect yourself?

Don’t open any suspicious emails. Anything that looks too good to be true usually is. Check the email addresses carefully, many will have tell-tale signs of a fake like transposed words or will be hosted by sites like gmail instead of a company website. Look for logos that don’t seem to be properly sized. As many of these attacks come from overseas, many times the English used feels off. It’s very common for phishing emails to have terrible spelling and grammar.

The most important takeaway – do not click any links or give any personal information if anything even remotely seems off about an email.

If you’re worried about security, the Freeburg Chamber has two member IT companies who can help protect you from online scammers: Computype IT Solutions and CTS Technology Solutions. You can find these Chamber members under the computers and telecommunications section of our business directory.

Take any precautions you possibly can to make sure that you or your employees don’t fall for these phishing scams. Remember:

Correspondence from the Chamber will come from freeburgchambersecretary@gmail.com.

Hans Carpenter
-Freeburg Chamber Secretary