The Ferris Area Business Association recently underwent a rebranding to better serve local businesses.

Welcome the newly established Ferris Chamber of Commerce to the Ellis County business community.

The economic development director, Sean Overeynder, suggested the initial transition to a Ferris Chamber of Commerce because it "led to more economic development," according to chamber president, Charles Hatfield Jr.

The two first got together in March and made the official name change with the state of Texas. By the time April rolled around, the chamber was legitimate.

“We are struggling," admitted Harfield, who owns a local weekly newspaper, The Ellis County Press. "We are doing some chamber things. We have a luncheon once a month, and we have two events that we sponsor each year. One of them is the Ferris Brick Festival where we celebrate Ferris’ rich history.”

Even though membership is low, the local chamber is already engaged with the community and has more to offer to the town. The chamber also sponsors the Christmas on the Square and, this year, is excited to bring the circus to town for the first time. Families can look forward to attending this event on Oct. 8.

The Ferris Chamber of Commerce started with 15 members. As of June 8, it has locked in 15 more. Hatfield said he hoped to have close to 60 businesses on board by the end of the year. He did mention that there are only about 60 local businesses in Ferris, which has a population just north of 2,500.

For Hatfield, the chamber is essential to positive growth.

“With all of the negative stuff going on at city hall, we need to change our image where we have a fun city to come to," he elaborated. "A lot of things aren’t going to change until the local politics change, and the chamber does not get involved with local politics.”

In addition to serving as owner and publisher of The Ellis County Press, Hatfield is a passionate businessman as a licensed handgun instructor. With his new role as president of the chamber, Hatfield hopes to exercise his skills as an event coordinator.

“When we have events, I want them to be fun," Hatfield emphasized. "I’ve got a stage built, so people have a great time when they come to town. And, there are three things people like — good food, live music and cold beer. If you put those three things together, the average person will spend $120 at an event.”

Hatfield also noted his focus in on growing memberships, not so much expanding the board. Hatfield also plans to host after hour events to mingle and network. Those who sign up are also included in promotions and will receive a sign and decal for the window.

The board is comprised of Hatfield as the president, Claudia Sanchez as vice president, Connie Bratcher as secretary, and Michael Masck as treasure. Other board members are Jason Crenshaw, Jim Swafford and Jerry Watson.

The first ribbon cutting will be with Elite MTS Insurance Agency.

Hatfield has credited Shelley Martinez from the Red Oak Chamber of Commerce for the Ferris Chamber's quick start and early successes.

“When we were establishing our fee schedule for marketing we checked several chambers to see what they had — Desoto, Red Oak, Ennis. We developed a schedule that we think is right for our town.”

“Since we are a young chamber, we are going to grow and learn and make things more appealing to come to our town," Hatfield added.

The mission of the Ferris Chamber of Commerce is to "promote and represent the Ferris business community by uniting businesses, educational leaders and civic organizations."

For more information, visit www.ferrischamber.com or contact the chamber by emailing info@ferrischamber.com.


Ashley Ford | @aford_news | 469-517-1450