The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce recently developed a new television channel to help members showcase products and services through a new outlet.

Anyone with devices or services such as "smart" TVs, Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV that enable users to stream shows and movies can now find information about the Pickerington community and local businesses through a channel established by the chamber.

PACC President and Chief Executive Officer Theresa Byers said the channel can be accessed on those devices by searching "Pickerington Ohio."

"They'll then find the PACC channel and all of its content "any time, anywhere," she said.

"Because these devices are available to anyone, this channel is open for anyone to view," Byers said. "If you have one of the devices -- Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV -- there is absolutely no charge to view (or) access the channel.

"A Roku device, if you don't own one, can be purchased for about $35, which gives you access to our channel and so many more programs," Byers said.

" But most smart televisions today ... are already equipped with Roku."

Byers said the Pickerington Ohio Roku channel was unveiled at the end of April through a partnership with iRankLocally.

Because the chamber aligned with the software developer, there were no upfront costs to develop the channel.

The technology allows the chamber to broadcast events as they happen via live streaming, or show taped content.

"Currently, we have featured several of our chamber events on the channel, including our most recent Business Summit where former Ohio State University Buckeye (football player) Roy Hall spoke and gave a phenomenal presentation," Byers said.

"By featuring our luncheon speakers, and members, those in the community are able to learn new ways to enhance their business from the comfort of their homes if they are unable to attend the events in person.

"In addition, as the channel continues to develop, we can feature many things about Pickerington -- upcoming community events, past events and local businesses -- and reach the community along with visitors traveling to the area."

In addition to providing another option for promoting businesses, the Pickerington community and surrounding areas, the channel will provide a more affordable means for chamber members to advertise.

Traditional advertising on TV or radio can be costly, she said, but with the technology through the partnership with iRankLocally, PACC members and other businesses within the community "can share their story, promote their business and share what's new, extremely inexpensively," Byers said, adding that content can be added with two simple clicks of a button.

"We are talking as low as $100 per month for television advertising," Byers said. "That is a huge deal.

"Previously, if you wanted to promote on television, you would have to have a programmer to help you and the cost would be pretty expensive to make that happen."

Michele Cook, owner of Body Ache Escape Massage Center, said, "Since video is becoming the No. 1 method of marketing for businesses, starting a Roku channel is very forward thinking for the Pickerington Area Chamber.

"We like to think of innovative ways we can bring awareness to our small businesses within the community, and for a fraction of what it would cost to get on television normally, businesses can showcase their products and services while remaining on a budget."

The addition of the channel is in line with the PACC's "core values" to bring proactive solutions and innovations to members and the greater community, Byers said.

She said businesses and others seeking to learn more about the channel and the opportunities it offers can call the PACC office at 614-837-1958, or email Byers at theresa@pickeringtonchamber.com.

"Our goal is to showcase Pickerington and all of the wonderful things we have here," Byers said. "We have strong schools, great community events, a fantastic business community and we just continue to grow each year.

"Over time and with the help of local businesses and community members, we expect this channel to become a one-stop source for all things Pickerington -- a place where people can see what's new, what is coming and truly get to know why we love this place so much."

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