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A new strategy for the Cotati Chamber of Commerce

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
August 10, 2018

After a couple years of reorganization and strategizing, the Cotati Chamber of Commerce is sporting a modern, updated look in the form of their new logo and launch of their revised website last week. 

“The chamber logo was not to anybody’s liking so that was the first thing we wanted to change,” says Erin Armstrong, President of the Cotati Chamber of Commerce. “We looked at a lot of other chambers’ logos and felt it was important to have something that was uniquely Cotati. We looked at others, like Humboldt which has Redwood trees and Napa has grapes. Our old logo had Chief Cotate in it but that is the city’s logo so we wanted to have our own logo.”

The logo and website, www.cotati.org, was created by Cotati Chamber of Commerce member and local business, Hive by Flannel, a branding and web design and development company that is located in downtown Cotati. 

“Hive by Flannel incorporated the hexagon that the city and park is designed around,” says Armstrong about the fact that Cotati is one of only two towns in the United States that is designed with a hexagonal layout. “The logo is a nice slick one. Our other logo was very amateurish.”

Besides the new look, the Chamber of Commerce also did some reorganization and maintenance on their actual office, board room and visitor center information section at their location on 216 East School Street in Cotati to make the space more appealing and welcoming to visitors and for chamber members to use for meetings and events. 

“We did a lot of housecleaning so to speak,” says Armstrong. “It was a pretty messy office so we got rid of a lot of stuff, cleaned it up, and made a new board room that looks very professional.”

According to Armstrong, the chamber’s strategy for the upcoming year will include encouraging new businesses to come to Cotati, as well as stimulating the business environment in the Northwest section of town. 

“We’d really like to work with the Northwest corner of Cotati,” says Armstrong. “That’s an area that’s primarily industrial but there are a lot of businesses over there. I have a plan to go with our vice president and reintroduce ourselves to a lot of those businesses because that’s a forgotten part of Cotati. I’d like to embrace them into our environment and be there for them and have ribbon cuttings and mixers and that sort of thing so they don’t feel like they’re forgotten over there.”

In the future the city hopes to encourage a hotel to be built in Cotati to accommodate visitors coming to town for various events, which the chamber wholeheartedly supports.

“Cotati has needed one [a hotel] for a while,” says Armstrong. “We get two big events per year that draw lots of people into town – the college graduation and the Accordion Festival. It’s a shame that those people have to stay in Petaluma or Rohnert Park. We can’t put them up in our own town so I think it’s a good thing for us to have.”

The Green Music Center on Sonoma State University’s campus also holds many major events and while the university is technically in Rohnert Park, it is closer to Cotati than many areas of Rohnert Park that have hotel facilities. 

The chamber is also looking forward to continuing the community events they hold every year, including the Music Festival in June, the Oktoberfest and the Holiday Crawl night in December. However, what Armstrong sees as the biggest benefits to joining the Chamber of Commerce are the various advertising opportunities on their website and social media sites, newsletter, Cotati Community Activity Guide & Chamber Directory and membership mailing lists, as well as the chance for in-person networking through chamber mixers & mingles and breakfast and luncheon meetings.

“We help get businesses out there,” says Armstrong. “We put their events on our website; once a week we post what’s going on. We do mixers, we do ribbon cuttings, it’s a great network resource. If you don’t have anybody to do the social media for your business, whatever you give us we send out to all of our members to help get the word out there of what’s going on. It’s a great networking tool to have.”