Montpelier Chamber Brings Back Business After Hours Event

bah-webBy: James Pruitt

After more than a decade’s absence, the Montpelier Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Business After Hours” event and the evening was a hit.

Around 20 people had shown up by 5 p.m. at Cookies On Demand on Broad Street. The event allowed chamber members a chance to chat and network, which was just what organizers wanted.

“We want the community to come and network,” Chamber director Susan Gearhart said. “We want the people to tell us what they want (in Montpelier.)”

The event’s hosts were Ron and Becky Freese, owners of the six-year-old business. The couple has had the Broad Street address for four years after two years at home, Ron said.

The chamber approached them about hosting the event and they readily agreed.

“It’s going very well,” Becky said.

Gearhart has been working with Village Administrator Kevin Brooks and the village to help the community.

“We have to support Montpelier,” Gearhart said. “It’s been years since we had this.”

Business After Hours will be held monthly and hosted by a member company or organization. The next meeting will be hosted by Evergreen Manor, but the location is unknown. In November, the Quality Inn will be the host.

The chamber has 139 members.

The event is just one in a litany of different activities the chamber has held to promote unity and awareness.

For Brooks, Business After Hours is the “first step in the right direction,” for the organization. That direction will be one of moving forward and trying new things, he said.

Next up will be the Ghost Walk from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 29. Participants will get to hear the scary past of Montpelier as well as bring people downtown after dark.

James Pruitt may be reached at

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