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Washington Chamber of Commerce, City of Washington, WEDG and Main Street Washington unveil new website

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Members of the Washington Chamber of Commerce went through website training to learn how to upload information to their business profiles for the new website that houses information for WEDG, the City of Washington, Main Street Washington and the Washington Chamber of Commerce.
Submitted photo Members of the Washington Chamber of Commerce went through website training to learn how to upload information to their business profiles for the new website that houses information for WEDG, the City of Washington, Main Street Washington and the Washington Chamber of Commerce.
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WASHINGTON — A new website has been rolled out for the Washington Chamber of Commerce, Washington Economic Development Group (WEDG), City of Washington and Main Street Washington.

Washington Chamber of Commerce Director Michelle Redlinger said the new website was created with accessibility and visibility for readers in mind.

“The basic reason that we did that is we want to have one, strong, unified voice, to the community, especially to be found online, so we can promote Washington to the best of our ability,” she said.

In the past, each entity had its own website, which proved to be difficult for consumers because they were unsure who to call. Redlinger said the chamber was fielding calls for garbage tags and what time Main Street events started, which prompted them to take a look creating a more organized online presence.

The project initially was funded by the Hotel/Motel Committee who decided the first project they wanted to do with the collected hotel/motel taxes was to benefit the largest number of people.

“We thought if we could really improve the way that Washington looked electronically and online, that is going to be the best for our businesses, for our people living here to find information and to invite people in to our community,” she said.

The new website will contain all information that existed in the past, like council packets and community calendars, with added features and more content about the amenities of Washington. Restaurant lists, nature activities and family friendly activities and places that can be visited in Washington are all available to view.

“We try to give people ideas of what they can do hear in the community,” she said. “We really were trying to give them more information and some ideas, and even an insider look on some of the assets in Washington that people are either unaware of, or that sometimes we take for granted.”

The website is designed for everyone, she said, including those who may be looking to move to Washington. Information about where to get a driver’s license, school information and utility contacts are all conveniently organized on the new site.

The new website has been developed by Running Robots, a company out of Iowa City. They spent last week in Washington training business leaders on how to use the website because an added bonus of being a chamber member includes a free business profile, Redlinger said.

“Our developers have been here helping to get all of our businesses information up here as well, which is another great way we are just trying to say thank you to the members that help us make Washington a great place to live,” she said.

The website has been live for a few weeks and is ready for viewing. Redlinger said the website still is a work in progress that will see changes over the next few months and asks for the public’s patience as they work out the hiccups.

Anyone with concerns or suggestions on how to improve the website is encouraged to contact the chamber at: 319-653-3272 or info@washingtoniowa.org. The new website can be found at: washingtoniowa.gov.