Update from the Chamber of Commerce

As summer comes to a close in Blount County and local schools begin classes, it’s just a matter of time before a touch of fall fills the air, and with it, many events will take place for us to enjoy in our own backyard.

Your Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce encourages you to enjoy the diversity of activities offered in your home county. From the excitement of Friday night football at your local high school, a fall festival, a day at Palisades Park, a walk through town and eating and shopping with local merchants, a ride down a river or a water slide, to a round of golf at our beautiful courses.

These activities and so much more will not only support your neighbors and their businesses, but they keep your tax dollars at home, and that money comes back to YOU in the form of roads, schools, police departments, fire departments, social services, medical services, and more.

While the effects of the Great Recession still linger and are being felt from Wall Street to Main Street, kudos go to our local governments, who have shown great fiscal responsibility and are working with balanced budgets without the need of tax increases.

The Blount County Commission recently celebrated becoming “debt free,” and the City of Oneonta will operate in 2011-2012 within budget with no reduction in services or staff. Other municipalities across our county are doing the same as are our two school systems. Our thanks to these government entities for their efforts and not having to ask citizens to pay more in taxes during these difficult economic times. If only our federal government would be so prudent.

Our unemployment numbers are not good, 9.5 at the time of this article, and all signs point to a slow (but steady) recovery. But while we are in a recovery phase, a lot of people are left looking for employment. One option is being offered by the AWARE Program in our county. It is a Job Fair to be held Sept. 15 at the Frank Green Building Auditorium from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend, as several local businesses will be on hand to take applications for employment. For more information, contact Lynette Glatzer at 205- 625-5159 or call the chamber office at 205-274-2153. Also, we continue to offer small business counseling services through Jacksonville State University; call our office for details or to schedule an appointment.

The chamber invites you to attend our monthly breakfast held the fourth Wednesday of every month at Twin Oaks at Heritage. We have enjoyed great speakers and great food each month and look forward to hearing from the guests we have scheduled through the remainder of the year. We also ask that you consider joining your Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce. For most businesses, the cost is $95 per year, and for individuals (families) the cost is $35 per year. Join us in supporting Blount County businesses by joining the chamber and by shopping at home.

Let’s continue to work together as Blount Countians toward a brighter future. Our best days are still ahead of us!