Chamber Member Submitted Holiday Recipes

Recipe 2

Charitable Giving Pays Off…For Everybody

Americans are pretty generous — in fact, 83% of us donated money to charitable organizations last year, according to a Gallup survey. And now that we’re entering the holiday season, charitable giving well may be on your mind. Your key motivation for making charitable gifts, of course, is to help those organizations whose work is meaningful to you. However, by supporting these groups, you can also make life less “taxing” for yourself.

Specifically, by making charitable contributions, you may be able to receive some valuable tax breaks. To claim a deduction, though, you need to itemize your taxes, and you need to make sure that the organization you’re supporting is qualified, from a tax-deductibility standpoint. If you’re unsure whether a group is qualified, just ask to see its letter from the IRS. (Many organizations now post these letters on their websites.)

Here’s how the charitable tax deduction works: If you give $200 to a qualified charity, and you’re in the 25% tax bracket, you can deduct $200, with a tax benefit of $50, when you file your 2014 taxes. Consequently, the net “cost” of your donation is just $150 ($200 minus the $50 tax savings).

Of course, you are not confined to making cash gifts. In fact, if you donate certain types of noncash assets, you may be able to increase your tax benefits. Suppose you give $1,000 worth of stock in ABC Company to a charitable group. If you’re in the 25% bracket, you’ll be able to deduct $250 when you file your taxes. And by donating the ABC stock, you can avoid paying the capital gains taxes that would be due if you had eventually sold the stock yourself.

Keep in mind that if you want to deduct your contributions for the 2014 tax year, you’ll need to make your gifts by Dec. 31. One more reminder: Retain your paperwork. If you made gifts totaling over $250 to any single charity — or noncash contributions of any items worth over $500 — the IRS requires written acknowledgments for your contributions.

If you want to take a longer-term approach to charitable giving, while incorporating your gifts in planning for your estate, you might want to consider establishing a charitable remainder trust. Under this arrangement, you’d place some assets, such as stocks or real estate, into a trust, which could then use these assets to pay you a lifetime income stream. When you establish the trust, you may be able to receive an immediate tax deduction based on the charitable group’s “remainder interest” — the amount the charity is likely to ultimately receive. (This figure is determined by an IRS formula.) Upon your death, the trust would relinquish the remaining assets to the charitable organization you’ve named. This type of trust can be complex, so to create one, you’ll need to work with your tax and legal advisors.

While the tax benefits associated with charitable giving are significant, they should not, ultimately, drive your gifting decisions. You should also consider the effect your gift will have on the other areas of your estate considerations — so make sure you communicate your plans to your family members.

In any case, though, be as generous as you can this holiday season and in the years to come. Your generosity will be a rewarding experience — for everyone.

For more helpful tips on fraud prevention, visit or contact Jennifer Ridgeway, Financial Advisor, (314) 352-1253.

2014 Business of The Year Nominees

Following are the Nominees for the 2014 Business of the Year award.

We are pleased to have 6 nominees, each of whom help increase the profile of Maplewood and/or contribute significant time and resources to the Chamber and the community at large. We congratulate the nominees and thank the chamber members who put forth the effort to recognize the achievements of outstanding businesses.

The Book House

Citizens National Bank


Frontenac Engineering Group

Schlafly Bottleworks

Tiny Little Monster

The 2014 Business of the Year winner will be named in early January and the award will be presented at Annual Meeting and First Quarter Luncheon on Tuesday, January 27th at Schlafly Bottleworks.

The selection of the winner is determined by 9 votes. 8 votes will be made by fellow chamber members and the final vote is determined by the outcome of our public poll.

To take part in the public poll- cast your vote here.

New in 2015-Marketing Partnership Packages (Sneak Peak)

The Marketing Committee is in the final stages of unveiling new marketing and promotional opportunities with the Chamber for 2015.

Together with the office staff, the committee has developed all-inclusive marketing and sponsorship packages that range from $300-$600. Packages include website and newsletter advertising and opportunities to sponsor events like Quarterly Lunches, Business and Bagels and Mix and Mingles.

Packages will be available for purchase on a first come, first served basis beginning Monday, November 17th. Packages are secured upon payment and completion of registration form by Wednesday, December 10th.

Click Here the following link to view the 2015 Marketing Partnership Packages 2015 Chamber Marketing Packages


Seeking Nominations for 2014 Business of the Year

Established in 2011, the Maplewood Business of the Year Award is an award that recognizes a Chamber business who demonstrated an exceptional contribution to their industry or community within the past year.

The nominees will have made a major or visible contribution in the past year in one or more of the following areas:

  • Industry Achievement
  • Revenue growth
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Innovative products or services
  • Creative marketing endeavors
  • Company-wide community involvement


  • Nominee must be a registered Chamber Member.
  • Nominee should be a licensed business, nonprofit and/or civic entity.

A selection committee will vote on the nominees. The committee will be made up of Chamber Members not affiliated with either a nominee or nominator. The recipient of the Business of the Year Award will be announced the first week in January and the award presented at the Annual Meeting/First Quarter luncheon.

Nomination Information
To nominate a business for the Business of the Year Award, please fill out a nomination form and submit a letter supporting your nomination.  You may also have a nomination form emailed, faxed or mailed to you by calling the office at 781-8588. Business owners and/or employees are welcome to self-nominate their business. Return the form along with a letter supporting the nomination. Nominations received withouta supporting letter will not be considered.

Nominations should be received by November 21st.

Click here for 2014 Business of the Year Nomination Form

2011-Kakao Chocolate
2012- The Post Sports Bar & Grill
2013- Vom Fass


13th Annual Maplewood Christmas Tree Walk- Vendor Information

MOS9127__KeyArtThe 13th Annual Maplewood Christmas Tree Walk will take place on Friday, December 5th from 6-9 p.m throughout historic downtown Maplewood. 

The Christmas Tree Walk is the official kick-off to the holiday season in Maplewood. The event drives over a 1,000 of people into Maplewood for an evening of shopping, dining and entertainment.  The event has been growing in popularity and attendance over the past several years with added features such as free carriage rides, visits and pictures with Santa Claus, carolers, and increased participation among the business community. Businesses and organizations may become a registered participant of the event and will be included in event program, on the event webpage, and in press materials. Registered participants are also part of the Maplewood Storefront/Window Decorating contest. Additional information available here 2014 Christmas Tree Walk Information
*Early Bird Discount for vendors registering by November 14th.
Register online OR by completing registration form and returning to Chamber office with payment.

Online Vendor Registration and Payment Here

2014 Christmas Tree Walk Registration Form  (Businesses registering online do not need to complete this form)

 Special thanks to our generous sponsors and event contributors:



Environmental/Industrial Designer

The Maplewood Chamber of Commerce seeks an environmental design professional to provide conceptual design services for signage to be attached to the Big Bend Metrolink bridge and landscaping improvements to adjacent land.  The project will include re-use of historic sign letters to be incorporated into the new sign design.

Scope of Work
The scope of initial services will include preparation of conceptual designs, preparation of a rendering to be used for marketing purposes, and preparation of a budget cost estimate for this project.

Provide the information in the order listed below:

  1. List and briefly describe the similar projects completed by your firm in the last five years and provide digital images if available.
  2. Explain how your firm is uniquely qualified to provide the requested services to the MCC on the project described in the scope of work above.
  3. Provide the name of the staff who will be assigned to this project and briefly describe their relevant work experience.
  4. Prepare at least two (2) un-bound copies of the submission (no larger than 11” x 17”) and submit the materials to:  Jeannine Beck at 2915 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood, MO  63143 or email them to: . Submissions may be sent via regular mail or hand-delivered.  Please note, more copies may be requested.

Qualifications Submission Deadline
Submissions, as described above, must be received no later than Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 3 PM.

Selection Process
The Maplewood Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will review the qualification statements.  Firms deemed most suitable for the project may be asked to make an oral presentation within weeks after selection of the firm for the project.  If a fair price for services cannot be negotiated, the Chamber will select another firm.  Firms that are not selected will be contacted in writing.

Questions concerning the submittal requirements or the scope of work should be directed to Jeannine Beck at 2915 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood, MO  63143, 314-781-8588 or email:

Request For Qualifications Environmental-Industrial Designer

Photo Oct 23, 9 27 55 AM

Heading North on Big Bend

Photo Oct 23, 9 29 18 AM

Heading South on Big Bend



Original use of the Maplewood Letters

Theatre_letter_W Theatre_sign_open_crate

2014 Dinner/Auction Items Sneak Peak

Click the following link for a sneak peak at the 2014 Dinner Auction Items. 2014 Auction Donations Sneak Peak

2015-2016 Business Directory – Review your listing

Review your Listing By Service

Accounting Services – Automotive, Parts

Automotive, Repair – Coffeehouses

Computer, Development – Credit Unions

Dance Studios – Frozen Custard

Funeral Homes – Home Inspection Services

Human Resources – Martial Arts

Massage Therapy – Pawn Brokers

Personnel Services – Restoration

Retail Stores – Solar Energy

Specialty Food – Wireless Services


Review your Listing By Alphabetical Order

40 South News – Cheryl’s Herbs

Citizens Nat Bank – Focal Point

Freeman Mktg – LaCosecha

Landmark Builders – Mr. Wizards

MRH School Dist – Schlafly Corp

School of Metaphysics – Wells Fargo Advisors

Financial Focus-Online Security and Fraud Prevention

Provided by  Jennifer Ridgeway, Edward Jones

Security breaches seem to be big news these days – but smart consumers can fight back. You’ll want to be savvy when you surf the net. Following are a few tips for online safety:

  • Know who you’re dealing with. If you receive an offer that looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t click on pop-up ads or links in unsolicited emails. If you’re suspicious about the origins of an online ad, a website or an email, contact the company directly.
  • Stick with encrypted websites. Although no site is foolproof, a lock icon on the status bar or a web address beginning with https:// indicates a secure site. Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page. Check to be sure the entire site is encrypted before you provide personal information.
  •  Create strong passwords – and then protect them. Keep in mind that longer passwords are more difficult to guess. Consider mixing letters, numbers and special characters – but make it easy to remember so that you don’t have to write it down. Don’t use an obvious password, such as your birth date, your mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number. And never use the same password for all your accounts. If a thief steals it, he has access to every account using this password.
  • Keep an eye on your accounts. Check your bank and other statements as soon as they arrive – or more frequently if you have access to your accounts online. With our Online Account Access service, you can check your Edward Jones accounts whenever and wherever you like.

For more helpful tips on fraud prevention, visit or contact Jennifer Ridgeway, Financial Advisor, (314) 352-1253.