Chamber plans festive breakfast

Update from the chamber of commerce


The monthly Blount County – Oneonta Chamber of Commerce breakfast will be held Thursday, Dec. 18, at Twin Oaks. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. and will be sponsored by Alabama Power Company.

The program will be centered around Christmas with special music, including audience participation. The program will also include Bible readings and a special speaker.

Joan Currier and staff will be busy preparing traditional Christmas dishes, and Twin Oaks will be beautifully decorated.

A special thanks to our sponsor, Alabama Power Company, a great chamber member. Alabama Power is very important in the industrial recruiting and business development in our area. Also, the company was instrumental in establishing the Blount County Leadership Class sponsored through the chamber.

Chamber Events

The Christmas Parade held on Thursday, Dec. 4, continued an important tradition in the area. Thousands lined the streets of Oneonta as a diverse parade made its way through the town. A special thanks goes to many people for their hard work in putting the event together. McMillian Fab, Oneonta Discount Building Supply, City of Oneonta, Blount County Sheriff’s Department, Oneonta Police Department, the local National Guard Unit, Wess Hallman, and a host of volunteers made the event another success.

The Blount County Leadership has begun its 2008-09 class. There are 11 members representing all parts of the county. The basic premise is to learn about the people, organizations, governmental entities, and institutions that help Blount County to function in an orderly manner.

Unemployment

The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations released information Nov. 21 indicating that Alabama’s jobless rate increased slightly to 5.6 percent but continued to be well below the national average of 6.5 percent. Alabama’s September rate was 5.3 percent.

While Alabama’s rate is much lower than the national average, the bad news is the state average has increased at a more rapid pace than the U.S. rate during the past 12 months, according to John Norris, director of Wealth Management for Birmingham’s Oak-worth Capital Bank. John Norris was the November speaker at the Blount County – Oneonta Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Blount County actually enjoyed a slight drop in unemployment for October, registering a jobless rate of 4.2 percent as compared to 4.3 percent in September. During October, 26,738 Blount Countians were in the workforce, an increase of 138 from September. During this same time frame, 25,618 locals were employed, an increase of 170 from September.

Alabama counties with the lowest unemployment rates during October were as follows: 1) Shelby, 3.6 percent; 2) Madison, 3.8 percent; 3) Tuscaloosa, 4.1 percent; 4) Blount, 4.2 percent; and 5) Baldwin and Limestone, 4.4 percent.

Alabama has seven counties with double-digit unemployment during October. Those counties with the highest jobless rates were 67) Chambers, 14.3 percent; 66) Wilcox, 12.8 percent; 65) Bullock, 12 percent; 64) Lowndes, 11 percent; 63) Dallas, 10.9 percent; 62) Perry, 10.3 percent; and 61) Monroe, 10 percent.

Nationwide the states with the lowest unemployment rates were 1) Wyoming and South Dakota, 3.3 percent; 3) North Dakota, 3.4 percent; 4) Utah, 3.5 percent; and 5) Nebraska, 3.6 percent.

States (including the District of Columbia) with the highest unemployment were 51) Michigan and Rhode Island, 9.3 percent; 49) California, 8.2 percent; 48) South Carolina, 8.0 percent; and 47) Nevada, 7.6 percent. Alabama had the twenty-third lowest rate for the month.

The jobless rate for November will be released Dec. 19.

Conclusion

It is very important to patronize local merchants throughout the Christmas season. Money spent in the county provides valuable resources for local governments to continue providing services. You not only will be saving gasoline money but also you will help the local business community.

By working together, we are making a very good community even better.