Chamber executive director addresses members

Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Murphy delivered his “State of the Chamber” address at the Jan. 15 monthly luncheon at the Port Orchard Pavilion.

Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Matt Murphy delivered his “State of the Chamber” address at the Jan. 15 monthly luncheon at the Port Orchard Pavilion.

Murphy told his members the Chamber is a collection of local businesses and civic-minded individuals cooperating to encourage the local economy and promote the well-being of the entire South Kitsap Community.

“The Port Orchard Chamber is supporting the South Kitsap community,” he said.

Murphy said he’s asked a lot, “What does the Chamber do?”

“The Chamber is a group of business who advocate on behalf of the business community,” he said.

He said the Chamber actively supports the business development in South Kitsap.

Murphy said he looks at economic development as a three-legged stool — health businesses, a decent standard of living and good quality of life.

“That is how we define economic development,” he said. “Those are what the Chamber of Commerce is striving for.”

Murphy said the Chamber can help local businesses through advertising and promotion.

“A lot of people will say they don’t have time to be on the Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “I don’t have time to go to luncheon, time to go to after-hours event, etc. These are things you don’t have to actively participate in or to take advantage of.”

Concerning social media, Murphy noted the Chamber has more than 381 active followers on Twitter and 1,821 likes on Facebook.

He said the Chamber’s website has been redesigned and is available for members to put their business profile, information, photographs and maps on.

“It’s getting better, but not where we want it to be,” Murphy said. “But your profile on a Google search will show up on our website.”

He said members can post jobs vacancies on the Chamber website — at no additional cost.

Murphy said in 2014, the website drew more than 26,000 visitors — 76 percent were first-time visitors.

“It gets traffic,” he said. “About 15 percent of the visitors are from Seattle, 12 percent are from Port Orchard. Silverdale has 11 percent, Bremerton had seven and Gig Harbor has three.”

Murphy noted that 55 percent of website visitors are male and 60 percent of all visitors are ages 18-34 or younger.

He said the Chamber send out e-newsletters  — two each month — to more than 600 subscribers.

“Our goal for our event calendar is to be the number one spot in South Kitsap to go and find out what’s going on,” he said.

Murphy said he is collecting information from Fathoms and the city to added to the calendar.

He said there’s a lot of opportunity for Chamber members to network with luncheon and after-hours events.

Murphy said the Chamber sponsors the Seagull Calling Contest and Pooch and Purr Parade.

He said the ambassador program will be revamped to work with new businesses that open.

Murphy, a South Kitsap native, graduated from Gonzaga University in the 1980s and has served in the Washington National Guard. He returned to Port Orchard and began selling real estate.

Murphy later went to work for Mailbox, Etc., which was later purchased by United Parcel Service.

Before coming to the Chamber, Murphy worked for Dex Media, Inc. Murphy became executive director of the Chamber on Oct. 14.

He replaced Christine Daniels, who resigned because of health reasons after one year.