Through the creation of a quarterly public forum, the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Portsmouth are taking steps they say will bring the community together, build momentum on progress and focus attention on how much goes on that often goes unnoticed.
Portsmouth Today will be held every three months in the Scioto County Welcome Center, 342 Second St., Portsmouth. In a prepared statement, the chamber and Main Street Portsmouth said the events will highlight positivity by presenting a series of speakers who will update guests on the community’s public events and projects, answer questions anyone may have and hear input from those in attendance.
“We always hear that there isn’t anything to do in this community, and it just isn’t true,” says Joseph Pratt, executive director of Main Street Portsmouth. “We cannot plan an event without clashing with another, so it just becomes a decision of which event can we go against that won’t hurt them and won’t hurt us in attendance. We have a lot of good going on and a lot to do. I think this event will help bring these things to the forefront.”
Pratt says this is also a chance for the community to learn about events in detail.
“We always get questions about other events from people in the community, and we hope Portsmouth Today will better connect community members and planners so that everyone wins,” Pratt continued. “This will allow business owners to better plan around public events in their area, better allow community members to start planning their calendars months ahead and so on.”
Lisa Carver, executive director of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, says she thinks it will be a great opportunity to fill an information vacuum in the area.
“The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Portsmouth and Scioto County Visitors Bureau all field questions daily about area events and general community information. This is a perfect way for us to facilitate getting the information out there,” Carver says. “We have all come to rely very heavily on social media, but I’m a firm believer in face-to-face contact. Nothing will ever take the place of that.”
The chamber also will have calendars available produced through the help of the Portsmouth Area Visitors Bureau and Kim Bauer, as well as Main Street Portsmouth and other organizations.
“Additionally, I see this as a great opportunity to partner with Main Street Portsmouth,” Carver says. “Our missions align so well. Both organizations are committed to strengthening our community, and this is a perfect event to bring people together and share positive information.”
After the quick forum presentations, the event will allow various community leaders, business owners and citizens to socialize and talk about what is going on in the area, making for a very large networking opportunity advertised as unlike any other in the area.
The first event is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 13 at the Scioto County Welcome Center.
Current organizations sending representation include River Days, Portsmouth Area Arts Council, Connex and SOMC, Roy Rogers Festival, American Red Cross, Friends of Portsmouth and 14th Street Community Center. Main Street Portsmouth, the chamber of commerce and the visitors bureau also will give quick updates.
“Portsmouth’s Levi D. York was known for frequently remarking the idea, ‘What will help us individually will help us collectively, and that will mean a larger and better city.’ It is this positive attitude that we want to draw inspiration from as we come together to celebrate our individual victories, plan our schedules around giving support at upcoming local events and celebrating a resilient, hardworking community,” organizers said in summing up the idea of Portsmouth Today.
The upcoming forums are open to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend. For questions about the events, call the chamber of commerce at 740-353-7647 or Main Street Portsmouth at 740-464-0203.