By Chad Koenen
The Ottertail Business and Community Association may soon be getting a new name.
Ron Grobeck, who is the current president of the OTBCA, said the organization recently approved changing its name to the Ottertail Chamber of Commerce. He said the new name will better reflect the focus of the organization as it promotes local businesses and the community as a whole.
“The fact, is we are a community organization, that promotes the community of Ottertail. We also promote businesses for what we do,” he said. “We think it more correctly fits the narrative of who we are and what we do.”
The change was approved earlier this year by the general membership. While the group will soon be operating under a new name, many of the community events the OTBCA has sponsored over the years will remain unchanged. That includes its next event, which is the annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 3. One of the largest egg hunts throughout the region, Grobeck said the organization is gearing up for another large egg hunt with thousands of colorful plastic eggs. In the event restrictions regarding gatherings due to COVID-19 are not lifted, Grobeck said the Easter Egg Hunt will transition into an Easter Egg Drive-thru like last year’s event.
There will also be a number of new events this summer like a Otter Stop and Shop Day being planned for May 22, music in the park and even Theatre in the Park on June 12, July 13 and July 27. The Ottertail Chamber of Commerce will also be in charge of events like OtterFest, OtterDazzle and other community events it has helped to organize through the years.
The goal of the new name is to reinforce the focus of the organization to help to promote Ottertail through business promotions, marketing and events that bring people to town.
“That’s what we do. We bring people into Ottertail,” said Grobeck. “We bring people to town and help businesses to grow by promoting businesses.”
The change will also allow the organization to become a 501 C3 to allow for local businesses and organizations to make charitable donations. Currently, the group is a 501 C6, meaning the organization is not eligible for some grant funding that is reserved for 501 C3 organizations, and businesses cannot make donations in quite the same way either. The change will be a positive one for both the organization, as well as the members it serves.
Grobeck said the reception to the name change has been positive as members have felt the change to a full chamber of commerce was a long time coming.
“People are coming on board and I just think it is going to be a win-win situation,” he said. “We just think the name change more accurately fits who we are.”
The OTBCA is currently working on officially changing its name to the Ottertail Chamber of Commerce and becoming a 501 C3. Grobeck said the new organization will be open to businesses, as well as community members in the greater Ottertail area, who share the same vision of helping Ottertail continue to grow. Once the name is officially changed, Grobeck said the organization will go on an expansive membership drive.