New Chamber of Commerce targets student businesses

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Whitewater Student Government has instated a Chamber of Commerce directed toward student business owners.

The idea was first presented to former WSG President Patrick Johnson last school year by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.

Johnson began to work with CEO on a Chamber of Commerce on campus, but was unable to finish it in his last semester as president.

“I saw that  [CEO] really wanted this to happen,” Johnson said. “The only way it could happen was with some collaboration with a governance group on campus. We were just lucky that they approached us.”

Current WSG President John Jensen began working on the Chamber of Commerce as soon as he was elected.

“As far as my research goes, this has never been done before, at least by a student government,” Jensen said. “We’re walking on untreaded grounds.”

Jensen

Jensen said members of CEO wanted to create a Chamber of Commerce because of university policies that do not allow businesses to advertise on campus for free.

“We’re known for our business program here … so this just kind of made sense,” Jensen said. “If we’re really promoting student entrepreneurship, we need to give them an avenue to do that.”

Justin Murphy, Business and Financial Services director, will serve as chair for the Chamber. This is a new position which was created with the intention of running the UW-Whitewater Chamber of Commerce.

Murphy said he was excited to have his first meeting for the Chamber and work on publicizing it.

“There are a lot of student-run businesses that [the student body] doesn’t know about because they can’t advertise on campus,” Murphy said.

Murphy is working with CEO President Dan Fink, since many of the people the Chamber is targeting are currently CEO members.

Although the UW-Whitewater Chamber of Commerce was created mostly for student entrepreneurs, Jensen said the Chamber will also allow alumni and local business owners to become members.

Jensen said all that a student business owner has to do to become a member is pay a $50 membership fee and email Murphy at [email protected]