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Massena Chamber looking at upgrading its website


MASSENA - The Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors is looking at upgrading the chamber’s website, a move that would cost about $4,500.

But, board President Miriam S. Catapano said Thursday, some of that money could be recouped through the sale of ads on the website to member businesses.

Chamber officials are working with Garrant Consulting, a creative design and development company based in Massena, on the upgrade. They had hired Garrant Consulting to design their current website following a presentation from Bryan Garrant. That website went online in November 2008.

“After seeing his presentation, I’m sold,” Ms. Catapano said.

The upgrade would give them more flexibility to add material from the office, rather than sending it to the designer to be placed on the website, according to Ms. Catapano.

“It would enable Connie (Jenkins, chamber director) and Penny (Pullmain, chamber associate director) to go in individually and do what they need to do. It would make it more user-friendly and bring it up to today’s standards in terms of usability and looks. It would be a different animal altogether and so less complicated,” she said.

Ms. Pullmain said that some items they want to include on the website must now be sent to the developer for inclusion.

“The Winter Carnival logo had to be sent to him to have him do it,” she said.

Board member Mark D. Bogdan said he would like to see the chamber move away from the static front page that is currently has.

“I would like a website that constantly changes,” he said.

Ms. Pullmain agreed.

“Our pictures haven’t changed. Under the new system we’d be able to change it ourselves,” she said.

Ms. Catapano said they had to keep people coming back to the website for constantly updated information.

“At the end of the day, it’s probably our number one marketing tool. It is an important marketing tool for the chamber,” she said.

One feature that won’t be included on the new website would be the online store, Ms. Catapano said.

“I did suggest we take out the online store,” she said.

While the upgrade would cost them $4,500 if approved by the chamber’s board, she suggested there were ways to make up some of the cost, including the placement of advertising by member businesses for $100 each.

The developer had also suggested that he could provide member businesses with their own website, which would link off from the chamber’s site.

“If we can get the board to commit, we have to go out and sell,” Ms. Catapano said.

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