The Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed sixteen businesses to the membership in the month of March, and twenty-four existing members renewed their investment, spring boarding the total membership to 413 – according to Vickie Fournier President of the Chamber, this is healthiest membership total since the early 2000′s. The Chamber membership was hit hard from 2008-2010, losing a third of its membership as businesses closed and volunteers for the organization lost their jobs and moved. The organization, like many of its members, had to deepen their focus on alternative revenue sources, client growth and core services. A year ago, the Chamber had just 300 members, which was its lowest point in 95 years. Internally, the staff of just two full-time employees, restructured procedures, invested in technology that made operations more efficient and better promoted members, and convinced the board to hire a part-time staff person to assist in membership growth. Since July 2012, the Chamber has been steadily growing its membership, volunteer base, and alternative revenue sources, and the hard work is paying off with a renewed sense of optimism from the board and its members.