PETERSBURG, Va. -- The chambers of commerce for Petersburg and Colonial Heights could soon merge in hopes of creating synergies between both the cities to better serve businesses and the community, according to officials with the chambers.
Leadership from both chambers met Wednesday afternoon on the bridge that connects Colonial Heights and Petersburg.
"We’re using the bridge as the background because that’s our whole thing is to bridge our communities together to make one large community, to make one large business community," Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Brandt said.
Ray Ferguson, a member of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, believes the merger will benefit both cities.
“We’ve got a lot of good people on both sides, Petersburg and Colonial Heights, that can actually take the ball, run with it and create the synergy between both the cities," Ferguson said.
Colonial Heights Chamber of Commerce President Dr. Kat Mayes said the merger would mean "more exposure" for business owners "on both sides of the bridge."
Several Petersburg business owners, who are not current members of the chamber of commerce, said they are excited about the opportunity the merger it presents.
“I think it would be a great thing for the small businesses here in Petersburg to be involved in that," Steven Anderson, who owns The Hip HotSpot, said.
Candise Nicholas, who runs Another Level Barbering and Cosmetology School, said the merger has peaked her interest enough to join because of the potential opportunities.
“Of course networking, more business opportunities, helping education, education is always important in a business," Nicholas said.
Kathleen McCay, the owner of Old Townes Alibi, also believes a combined chamber would help her and her business.
“I think it is definitely something I would consider, the Colonial Heights Chamber definitely has a strong following," McCay said.
Brandt said the goal is to complete the merger on Nov. 1 with the goal of having a new name and logo in place in early January.
If finalized, the combined chamber will have about 700 members.
Brandt is expected to be the executive director of the combined chamber.