ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Bemidji Chamber unveils new office space with ribbon cutting, open house

Local business owners were invited to celebrate the new office space for the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, now located on the second floor of the Mayflower building.

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - LEAD.jpg
Chamber Executive Director Abby Randall and local business members celebrate after the ribbon cutting on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during an open house event at the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI — The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce officially celebrated its new office space in downtown Bemidji on Tuesday, welcoming local businesses and chamber members into the newly renovated rooms.

The open house event celebrating the new space featured opportunities for chamber members to network, snacks and refreshments along with door prizes and a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This is such an important project for us,” said Abby Randall, executive director of the chamber. “We needed a larger space to help serve our members.”

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 3.jpg
Chamber Executive Director Abby Randall speaks during an open house event celebrating the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office space on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

The chamber moved from its previous location in the Tourist Information Center, where it had operated for 25 years, to the second floor of the Mayflower Building early in 2020. The Tourist Information Center is now home to the tourism bureau Visit Bemidji.

“We’re all kind of fine-tuning where we need to be,” Randall said. “This is a space where we can focus on advocating for our businesses.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The move to the Mayflower came just one month after Abby Randall became the chamber’s executive director, taking over for Deb Pfaff in January 2020.

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 8.jpg
Chamber Operations Director Scott Turn, center, visits with attendees on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during an open house event at the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Changes for the chamber have continued this year with renovations being made to the new office, aiming to make it an inviting and practical space for the organization to operate from.

Plans for the renovations began in January, but due to nationwide supply chain challenges, construction was unable to begin until early April.

Outfitted with new walls and flooring, an exposed timber ceiling and sporting an expansive view of the lower floors of the building, the new office space is finally complete and is just waiting on a few final interior decorating touches.

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 4.jpg
Attendees clap during an open house event celebrating the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office space on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Ahead of the ribbon-cutting, Randall described the benefits the new office will offer and how the chamber plans to use it to help local businesses.

“This allows us to serve our all of members and really have more resources for our businesses,” Randall said to those in attendance.

One of those resources is the different conference rooms that the new office space includes, which will be open for chamber members to reserve and use. This fills what Randall sees as an important need in Bemidji.

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 6.jpg
Chamber Executive Director Abby Randall prepares to draw names for door prizes on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during an open house event at the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

“There’s kind of a lack of meeting space in our community,” Randall said. "So, we’re hoping this will help with that.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The new space, at least for Randall, is just as much for the local business community as it is for the chamber itself.

“We want you to feel invited, we want you to feel like you can have meetings of your own,” Randall said. “We want to keep this office space as busy as we can.”

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 5.jpg
Bailey Burnham receives a door prize on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during an open house event at the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Another benefit of the chamber’s new location is its other neighbors in the Mayflower building, which also houses the Launchpad and Greater Bemidji, two other organizations focused on local economic and business development.

“This whole building is just kind of a business percolator,” Randall explained. “This is really becoming the business center and hub in Bemidji.”

The chamber hopes to continue hosting events at the Mayflower Building, in addition to partnering with businesses at their locations in the coming months.

“Let’s do this together every month,” Randall said to the crowd during the open house. “I love seeing so many members’ faces.”

061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 7.jpg
Attendees visit and enjoy refreshments during an open house event celebrating the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office space on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer
061822.N.BP.CHAMBER - 2.jpg
Mya Beaulieu receives a door prize from Chamber Executive Director Abby Randall on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, during an open house event at the Bemidji Chamber’s newly renovated office in the Mayflower Building.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Nicole Ronchetti is a reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on local government and community health.
What to read next
The board is set to approve a three-year school bus transportation contract with Bemidji Bus Lines for bus services of three regular routes and one evening-only route.
When Dick Gregg was developing property on the west end of Bemidji just south of Division Street, there were two new streets that needed to be named.
Roger W. Lehmann, born in Fairmount, N.D., in 1924, enjoyed camping, traveling, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family.
If you’re like most people in the United States, you might assume that Itasca is an Ojibwe word, but it turns out that’s far from the case.