The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is expanding its annual business guide, and it will be so inclusive even local shutterbugs can get in on the action.
Chamber President Lindy Lutz Cash said the business guide will be expanded in several significant ways by opening advertising opportunities to nonmembers and including more resource material about Ahwatukee itself.
And you don’t even have to own a business to be part of one aspect of the guide: The Chamber is encouraging local residents to enter a photo contest. The winning entry will be used as the cover image for the Ahwatukee Business Directory and Resource Guide.
The contest rules are simple: Entries must be submitted in a digital format and depict scenery around Ahwatukee – in other words, family photos, selfies and reunion pictures need not apply. However, the Chamber is welcoming pictures of neighborhoods as well as popular community events such as the Festival of Lights.
“We want to show off more of our Ahwatukee scenery, so we decided to see what we can draw on from the citizens,” Cash said.
The deadline for submissions isn’t easy to forget: It’s Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. The winning shot will be announced at the Chamber’s February mixer on Feb. 21.
One submission per contestant is allowed, and the photograph must be validated as an original photograph by submitting it through ahwatukeeguide.com
All submissions must include a release to be published as a finalist photo if selected as well as for photo use if selected as the contest winner. The location depicted in the photo must be given at the time of submission.
All submissions must be high resolution and at least 300dpi at 6 by 9 inches.
Some submissions that don’t get picked for the cover will be used on inside pages and the photographers will be credited by name inside the guide.
The expanded guide is part of the Chamber’s efforts to give members more bang for their membership buck, but also to provide more service to the community.
“We’re doing a lot of things to kick off the new year,” Cash said. “We’re always looking for new ways to help our businesses. One of my goals is to find more ways to give our businesses more exposure. They deserve and need to have more ways to have exposure.”
And while previous editions “have been well-received,” she added, “We decided to think outside the box and let in any business that wants to advertise.”
“We also want it to be not just a business directory but a resource guide to the schools, parks and other aspects of the community,” Cash added.
The goal is to make the guide, which will be published in April, “a better vehicle to serve our local people as well as our winter visitors. Even though we’re not a tourist center, winter visitors look at the Chamber as one.”
Cash said that especially now, her staff fields calls every day from visitors as well as people who “want to build or buy a home in Ahwatukee.”
Those calls are one indication of the big uptick in Ahwatukee’s business community.
“We definitely have had a nice influx of businesses with all the new businesses opening here – both brick and mortar and without,” Cash said.
The free guide also will be printed in a heavier paper stock and will be distributed at more locations in the community. And it will include a larger, more detailed map of Ahwatukee, partly because the Chamber is often asked for a map by visitors.
While nonmembers can advertise, members get a reduced rate as well as the opportunity to be listed free of charge on a special guide website.
J2 Media in Chandler is handling the publication and production of the book and website.
“We are really excited to be working with the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce on this important project,” said Lyle Bonfigt of J2 Media, who is the director editor. “The directory will be a showcase piece for the area and we are excited to deliver a quality product to the people and businesses of the Ahwatukee area.”
Ad sales end Feb. 28 with final ad copy due March 7. Anyone interested in advertising opportunities can contact Paula Moore at J2 Media 602-899-2242 or visit ahwatukeeguide.com.