Last Chance!

business-directory1If you’re like me, you take a lot of photos with your phone…have you gotten one that just absolutely captures the beauty of Northwest North Dakota and the Williston Area?  SEND it to us!! – you can submit your photo to our 2017 Chamber Business Directory photo contest.  If selected, your photograph will grace the cover of our 2017 Directory!  Maybe you are already a photographer in the Williston Camera Club or maybe you just use your phone like me.  Either way, I bet you have a photo to submit!  Deadline is November 4th at 3pm.

Our 2017 Chamber Business directory is close to production: this is your last chance to advertise your business! The directory is circulated with members and around town.  It is a resource for businesses in town.  But it also has information on the City, the County, the Chamber, the Community, and more!   If you missed out on the chance to advertise last year, make sure you don’t miss out again – call 701-577-6000 by November 4th.


Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Community, Chamber of Opportunity

The Williston Area Chamber endeavors to bring the business community together.  Your investment in the Chamber affords us the time and effort needed to promote and advocate for the business community and your membership has its benefits.

Are you taking advantage of all that Chamber membership offers you?  From over half a dozen larger events each year, to our monthly networking nights, we work to create opportunities for you, our members, to develop strong local networks, which can result in actual business-to-business exchange.  The Chamber – where connections happen!  It’s not just a cute saying on the back of our business cards (although you can find it there!).  It’s at the core of our mission – the champion of Williston’s United Business Community.  The Chamber has some opportunity for everyone – marketing, networking, promoting, resources.   Have you found your chamber niche yet?  Check out our Chamber website to find the best thing for you or your business.  Use our member directory to find an area business that offers just want you may need.  Be informed by our weekly and bi-monthly member to member newsletters.  Advertise your business, submit a photo for our 2017 business directory, sponsor an event, participate on a committee, or attend a ribbon cutting or any event listed on our calendar.  Stay connected with the Chamber and you inevitably help yourself!  If we don’t have something for you, speak up!  I hope to see you out this Thursday at our business after hours and hear your feedback.

But it’s not just what can we do for you – it’s what can we do together.  Where can we partner?  How can we best benefit our businesses?   The Chamber is already working hard for you – and we’re always looking to improve.


#WillistonChamber #WillistonWide

Unified for Growth

DSC_0141.JPGYesterday afternoon city, county, and state wide leaders all gathered around a piece of land in Williams County to commemorate the unified efforts of countless people to bring a regional airport to the Williston Area.  Even though you were slightly cold (ok almost freezing) hanging outside in a field on a very crisp windy day in Northwest North Dakota, you couldn’t help but feel the warmth of all those involved.

Our current mayor, Howard Klug, thanked numerous people in seeing this project to fruition, including past mayor Ward Koeser and state officials.  Governor Dalrymple, Senators Heitkamp and Hoeven, and Congressman Cramer all spoke to the importance of all entities working together for a project of this magnitude.  This is a turning point in our area’s growth.  Our neighbors to the south in Watford City and to the east in Tioga were there to celebrate as well.  Come 2018, when the project really gets underway there is no doubt in my mind it will bring so much to our area – jobs to build it, jobs to run it.  Numerous opportunities for current and future businesses and for our community.

The comradery between state, county, and city leaders was apparent.  But they don’t do this in a vacuum – they want and need the community’s input.  Further, these leaders are elected.   What’s great about our county and our democracy is that we have the privilege to vote.  Elect those locally that share your vision for the community and the region.  This Friday, the Chamber will host a candidate forum for those running for the District 2 County Commission seat.  Projects like the new airport will fall directly in the commission’s lap.  How will they work with the city on this?  How well do they partner?   Come to the forum to educate yourself on which candidate you feel would best serve our area.

You may not have been able to make the ground breaking, or maybe you’re not able to make a city commission meeting regarding the sign ordinance.  But guaranteed the Chamber is.  We are there for you – attending and advocating on your behalf.  As ‘The Champion of the Williston Area’s United Business Community’ we represent you and keep you informed on what is happening.  With all the growth in our community the city and county aren’t just stopping at a new airport.  Plans for the old airport are in the works.  And they have a comprehensive regional plan update that is in a public draft and comment stage.  See our newsroom for more information for public comment in November.

Stay informed.  Stay involved.  Come back to the Chamber website often – visit our newsroom section, blog, and calendar for more information not listed in our newsletter.  The Chamber is proud to partner with other entities to promote prosperity in Northwest North Dakota and to provide opportunities for you and your business.


Shop Williston Wide

About a month ago, I wrote about the importance of shopping local, if you haven’t read it, I hope that you go back and check it out.  And that you tell your friends.  Shopping in Williston isn’t like just going to a mall, but that shouldn’t stop you!  There are several different places to go…and along the way you may find other things to stop by and see.  To make it easier, particularly for those new to the area, the Chamber is coming out with a special map.  Partnering with Williston Economic Development, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Williston Downtowners Association we plan to arm shoppers with a handy tool that lists all the shopping available to you in the Williston Area.

We also plan to have a Chamber Coupon Corner on our website that our businesses can list their sales and/or coupons that customers can use.   As a Chamber member, your retail store is guaranteed to be listed on our map and working with our partners we plan to have as much listed as possible to direct people to where in Williston they can get what they need!

Like I said before, uniting our efforts to better serve you is a win for business, a win for the consumer, and a win for all.  This is a great community and we have the power to make it even greater!  Shop Williston Wide to make Williston Strong.

Keep an eye out for our retail map – out in your hands and at businesses by the holiday season!

As always, contact us if you have questions.


Rich Community

When you hear ‘non-profit’, you may not think of the word rich in the same sentence.  But if you consider all our non-profit organizations, you will see that we are indeed rich here in the Williston Area!  The Chamber is hosting an expo this weekend to showcase our rich community.   Come check it out for yourself – get connected with all the opportunity and organizations in our community.   Over 30 of our local nonprofit organizations will be available to you and your family throughout the day.  And what better place to host it than the National Guard Armory Gym!  To know that we have the proud legacy of the North Dakota Army National Guard right here in Williston makes us even richer – and safer!

I was lucky enough to be offered a chance to ride in a BlackHawk helicopter and tour Camp Grafton’s Regional Training Institute (RTI).   The ND Army National Guard is here to 14317371_10210751330599814_7775509508764765846_nprotect our state with disaster relief during state emergencies and to support the Army during a national emergency.  But that’s not all.  The RTI which was built at the Camp in 2010 has state of the art technology and over 12 classrooms.  They train how to be a soldier and vocation training through virtual training experiences and hands on learning.  I was surprised to see the soil lab, general construction and concrete labs for learning trades, and hear about even more in depth education such as engineering, electrical, plumbing, etc.!  I am grateful that SGT David Passmore offered me that experience so that I could let others know about it.  Although he couldn’t offer a 160 mph ride at 1,000 feet to Devil’s Lake, ND to everyone, he will be at the EXPO so that you can learn more.  The same is true of the other 34 organizations.

So come out on Saturday to the New Armory anytime from 9am-4pm.   Educate yourself on how rich and exciting our community is!  I bet you won’t walk away without being proud of our community and without some new information to know, remember, and share with others.  You will have the opportunity to help support these organizations as they support the community.


Keep Williston Strong – Shop local

If you’re like most people, you are shopping for the best deal.  And most people who have been here awhile may be used to traveling to other cities to shop…but did you know that the more you do that, the more you will HAVE to do that?  As a shopper you have buying power.  Literally.  When you shop local, your money stays local.  It supports your friends and neighbors who work at those stores.  It allows those businesses to support you:  then they can sponsor your child’s sporting team or donate to your Uncle’s cancer benefit.

The retail market is fierce.  Retailers compete on a global market now…compete with brand recognition, locations, brick and mortar, online, and more.  Williston retailers compete like other businesses, but they also compete with a general mindset that a few hours drive East has more and better.  Or the mindset that via online, you can save $5 and you don’t have to pay tax!  But those tax dollars, if purchased local, go to the firefighters putting out your fires and the policeman’s wages keeping you safe.  They go to fix the roads on your commute to work or restructure an intersection for better traffic flow.  Those tax dollars affect your property value as a local resident.  Can the business you go to east of Williston offer you that or do they just offer a door to walk through?

When Williston area retail and businesses are strong, we are all strong.  You can help keep our community and all that we have functioning and growing.  You can be apart of the reason we get more parks, better hospitals, community art centers or more!  You have the buying power!

The Williston Area Chamber is collaborating with retailers and city and county entities to help learn what customers are looking for and how retailers can improve.  We are heading the effort to unite our energies and pool our resources to better serve you.   Contact us if you have ideas or as a retailer want to be included in our plans.


It’s a win for business, a win for the consumer, and a win for the community.   So change your mindset!  The next time you look to make a purchase – look here!!  Check out the Chamber’s business directory…keep an eye out for what our retailers will be offering you.

Shop small. Shop local. Shop Williston!

Photo Contest

Planning stages for the 2017 Chamber Business directory are well underway!  In addition to having more copies circulated around town, we are offering a photo contest:  your photo could be featured as the cover photo!!

Whether you are an avid photographer or simply love using your camera phone, you have the opportunity to capture what you consider the best thing about living in the Williston Area and submit it for the contest!

Our chamber business directory is a resource that people can come back to again and again.  Besides having information on the businesses in town, it has information on the City, the County, the Chamber, the Community, and more.  You can advertise your business in addition to being listed and found twice –  by name and category.  If you missed out last year, make sure you don’t miss out again.

More information about the photo contest will be out soon, keep up-to-date on the photo contest and business directory in our weekly newsletter. If you are not currently getting the newsletter you can sign up here.

Contact the Chamber (557-6000) if you are interested in advertising or want to be listed in the business directory.

Don’t forget about our online member directory where you can easily find area businesses that offer just what you may need.

New Overtime Rule – Why you should care…

In 2014, the Department of Labor started to make some changes.  This is a must research, must understand rule that will affect most, if not all, of your businesses.  As business owners it is critical for you to understand this rule and prepare.  Come December 1st 2016 some major changes will happen.

At first glance it may seem relatively common sense.  President Obama updated regulations – the Fair Labor Standards Act – attempting to protect more workers and get more money for the middle class.  Many sites you visit sing its praises.  How it is Good for everyone and that people deserve more pay for more work.

According to the Department of Labor

The final rule will:

  • Raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455/week to $913 ($47,476 per year), ensuring protections to 4.2 million workers.
  • Automatically update the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, increasing predictability.
  • Strengthen overtime protections for salaried workers already entitled to overtime.
  • Provide greater clarity for workers and employers.

However, not all agree on this rosy point of view.  There are actual repercussions that many businesses and employers will face.  In response to the rule, employers will need to either: pay more overtime, raise workers’ salaries above the threshold, limit workers’ hours, or some combination of those choices.  While this has been identified as plenty of options, the US Chamber and others feel it will hurt small businesses and not really increase wages:

The Cold Hard Reality claims shocks to both workers and workplaces on how this will actually impact us in our everyday reality.

Whichever side you find yourself on, it is an issue we need to address.  Do your research now.  Determine how it will affect your business moving forward.   Once December hits there will undoubtedly be changes.  Be ready.

Sign Ordinance Update

Beginning in 2014, the City of Williston’s Planning and Zoning Department went about updating the sign regulations that had not been updated since 1983 – in an effort to modernize regulations and to allow for greater overall signage for businesses.

The Chamber (under Scott’s leadership), along with others, were intricately involved in the comments and meetings on the draft ordinance in 2015.  During the planning stages the Chamber worked to ensure that public comment, particularly from our members’ business concerns was heard.

Since then, the planning department has adjusted the ordinance to reflect the changes.  Please take a look at our news section to see the full memo and updated ordinance.  If you think that this may be affecting your business and would like to comment, please contact the Chamber or the planning department directly – particularly with any questions on the ordinance itself (call 701-577-8104 or email  Note that a public hearing on this ordinance will be held SEPTEMBER 19th at 5:30pm at City Hall.  Again, the memo with highlighted changes from 2015 and the full ordinance can be reviewed here.

Guest Blog-Recycling in North Dakota

Garbage. How often do you think about it?  When the can is getting full and you hope you’re not the one who gets stuck taking it out?    When you see the sign for the landfill? Maybe you don’t think about it at all.  But unfortunately, it’s something that affects us all – the city, county, our area, and our environment…good thing there is recycling in Williston!

The North Dakota Recycling Services Facility can recycle many different items:

CARDBOARDchamley jpeg






All of these can be dropped off 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.  We also offer a pick-up service to many of the local businesses to make recycling easier for them.  North Dakota Recycling Services is a privately run recycling facility that has been operated for the past four years. We took over from public works when they no longer wanted to/or had the man power to run the program.  We are not funded by the City of Williston or any other grants.  We operate solely on what is brought in by recycling these materials, which unfortunately is not always paying for itself, but is very rewarding.

North Dakota Recycling works in conjunction with its sister Company, Chamley Pipe & Salvage.  At Chamley Pipe and Salvage, we recycle wood and scrap metal of all kinds.  Between both companies we are currently keeping approximately 500,000 pounds of recyclable materials out of the local landfill each month.  YES! ½ MILLION POUNDS EACH MONTH!

You can imagine how much more could be recycled if everybody in Williston knew about the center and what we can do!

Will Chamley and his partners support the recycling program in the City, many times out of their own pockets, in hopes that the recycling program here in Williston can continue to grow and encompass more types of recyclables in the future, such as glass and plastic.  Please help us spread the word!

North Dakota Recycling ServicesIs it time to clean out your own homes or businesses?  We are heading up a drive again at the end of August for the collection of E-Waste.  Our April drive collected 40,000 pounds of electronics to send to a special recycling facility to dispose of the toxic chemicals contained in them – keeping them from contaminating our soil and in turn our waters.  Please see the event flyer and help us keep electronics out of the landfill.

We are also working on partnering with businesses to place collection containers for aluminum at locations that make it easy to participate; and the proceeds from the collections will be donated to the local charity “Bras for a Cause”.  We chose this charity because all the money stays local, to help cancer patients with costs not normally covered by insurance.

I hope you have found this information useful and I hope you can pass it on to your co-workers and friends.

Thank you for spreading the recycling word!

-Brenda Wollan

Chamley Pipe and Salvage

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