Be Here Initiative

Be Here Initiative | Venango Area Chamber of Commerce
What does the phrase “be here” mean to you? To us, it means not only a literal sense of place, but a sense of purpose, participation, and presence. The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to introduce the Be Here initiative!

People, especially young professionals, often hear “where are you going to go to be successful?” or “why did you come back here?” when they return to the area. This is discouraging and gives the area a negative feel, and instead we want to welcome people to our area, thank them for coming or returning, and help them succeed right here!  Although we cannot deny that our area used to thrive because of industries that have since left, we also cannot get stuck on this and avoid moving forward in order to allow growth.

With this initiative, our goal is to encourage people to have a more positive view of the Venango Area and to live, work, and play here. We want people to be here by not only existing here but by being involved, invested, truly experiencing our area, and spreading the word about how great it is. The Venango Area is working hard to thrive and it’s important to realize all the opportunities that do exist. There’s a sense of community, low cost of living, outdoor recreation, art scene, entertainment, volunteer opportunities, education, scenic beauty, and so much more.

The first step of Be Here was a survey and focus groups, in which responses were gathered from more than 200 people who live or have lived in Venango County. A new website was then launched, with information about living, working, playing, and getting involved in the Venango Area, as well as social media accounts. The next step for the Chamber is to continue the conversation, work with the FLEX young professional group, collaborate with local organizations and businesses, and identify those challenges that do exist and work to create possible solutions.

The Chamber would like to thank Steve Kosak, from PNC Charitable Trusts, and Trenton Moulin, from Bridge Builders Community Foundations, for helping to fund this initiative.

We’re excited to continue working on this project and help the Venango Area thrive. You can find the website at www.beherevenango.org and keep your eye out for contests, events, and more, coming up within the next few months. Feel free to contact Ashley at the Chamber at acowles@venangochamber.org with any questions or comments. You may be here, in the Venango Area, but are you really HERE?