Chamber Update

Great things are happening here in Blount County and within your Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce! As our community grows, so too does your chamber.

Since July of 2015, chamber membership has grown by 60 and some of these represent existing businesses who are seeking ways to have a bigger presence in the communities they serve. Others represent new businesses that want to make their presence known.

To date, your chamber is made up of more than 300 members who represent businesses and individuals all across Blount County. These members combined with the commitment of our Sustaining Partners and governmental agencies from across the county, have enabled the chamber to become a stronger, more viable organization.

On behalf of the board of directors, I thank each and every one of our members for their commitment and support for the chamber as well as for Blount County.

Leadership Blount County

Founded in 2004, Leadership Blount County continues to be one of the chamber’s most successful programs. More than 150 business and civic leaders have graduated from the program and this year marks one of the largest classes since its inception. The group of 19 participants represents a host of different businesses and organizations. Though their backgrounds are diverse, their goal is the same – to learn more about this county they call home or to learn more about this county in which they work.

And we thank those businesses – Alabama Power, HomeTown Bank and Tyson Foods – who continue to make it possible for the chamber to continue Leadership Blount County.

Over the course of the next few months, we will explore our county’s government, health care, social services, education, and all of the things that make this county a great place to live, work and play.

But I hope that each of these 19 participants will gain more than just a knowledge of Blount County and all it has to offer. I hope that these individuals will learn what it is they have to offer Blount County.

Small business counseling

Another important function of the chamber is the partnership we continue to have with the Jacksonville State University Small Business Development Center. Through this partnership, we are able to offer one-to-one business counseling right here in our office.

From helping aspiring entrepreneurs turn ideas into businesses, to helping small firms expand, to providing the information every business person needs to make critical decisions, the SBDC is a resource that can help Blount County’s businesses compete effectively.

Anyone interested in this service can call the chamber at 274-2153. A representative from the SBDC will be in the office from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. Appointments can also be made at other times, so give us a call and we will be happy to help.

In conclusion…

These are just a couple of the many great things that we have going on right now at your Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce. As we move into spring, we look forward to celebrating some special Blount Countians at the 34th Annual Chamber Banquet (March 15) as well as the third annual Blount County Career Expo and our second Youth Leadership Camp in partnership with the Blount County Education Foundation and Oneonta Foundation for Educational Resources.

I hope you can join us for a special open house at our new home in the Regions Bank Building (201 1st Avenue East, Oneonta) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

And always remember – by working together, we are making a very good community even better!