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Not only are there numerous Chamber Member only events with a network of individuals and businesses that work to promote Calhoun County as a great place to live, work and visit, but with the Chamber, studies by the Schapiro Group show why everyone is willing to invest in their community and businesses success. 59% of consumers think it is an effective business strategy to be involved in the Chamber. Why? With restaurants, even those who are franchises, consumers are 40% more likely to choose those which are members of the Chamber. For small businesses, 63% of consumers are more likely to buy from those distinguished as Chamber members. Chambers also serve as the source for the 51% increase in consumer awareness of businesses. Your Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center serves as the #1 source of information for business issues, trends and events. Looking for somewhere to shop, visit or eat? Call the Chamber. Looking to open a business? Call the Chamber. Membership investment is PRICELESS, so give the gift of Membership this holiday season!

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DSC05841Many are confused by the term “chamber of commerce,” possibly dating back to its origin in Europe hundreds of years ago as tactic of banding together against common enemies and the government side of creating trade policies.

The current Chamber of Commerce is targeted more to community development, social and business needs, and creating prosperity for businesses and their communities. A Chamber is an organization of businesses and individuals coming together to represent the collective interests, while seeking to advance the community, region, state and nation. It’s a win-win for communities and businesses, and still, the Chamber remains a trusted source of business, referrals and information.

networkingIn political advocacy, together everyone achieves more, and the Chamber unites everyone in one voice to advocate for business and our communities. The Chamber is comprised of voluntary paying members, who collectively elect a board of directors to represent their voice and guide the chamber, who in turn hire a staff to run the organization. Daily, the staff serves as a resource for the public, a promoter of business, networking event organizers, and more in order to cater to our members’ and public’s needs.

engageThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce is a 4-Star Accredited Chamber, promoting and sustaining the economic growth of the Calhoun County Region, resulting in a community that is a dynamic place to work, visit and live. Unique among Chambers, our office also serves as the visitors center and center for economic development, striving to attract business and visitors to our region.

The Chamber, its board, staff and members work to continuously promote the Calhoun County area and truly represent “The Voice of Business.” By partnering with the Chamber, individuals and businesses unite to build and advocate for the success of our local economy. The Chamber encourages member participation in committees and discussions, so all can stay informed of all the successes the Chamber team is making in and around the community. Join us! 

Why Join the Chamber?

December 1, 2017

The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center works to promote and sustain the economic growth of the Calhoun County region, resulting in a community that is a dynamic place to work, visit, and list.
Networking
The Chamber connects your business with more than 1,000 members and their employees at more than 40 events each year.
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New members are eligible for free and discounted offers through several advertising packages, and members are exclusively allowed to promote any deals and discounts through the Chamber website.
Learning 
The Chamber offers educational seminars and webinars for member business owners, managers and employees.
voiceVoice
Through the Chamber’s Public Affairs as well as Military & Security Affairs, individuals and businesses unite to build and advocate for the success of our local economy.
Visibility
The Chamber website is frequented by more than 35,000 visitors, and we distribute more than 3,000 welcome packets annually. These and more opportunities create opportunities for members to get noticed in the community through publications, directories and more.
creditCredibility
Studies show that when a business is identified as a member of their local Chamber of Commerce, positive perception is increased among consumers and business owners, so raise your reputation with membership and by displaying your member decal at your business or on your website.
Guidance
The Chamber provides referrals to our members and for our members to resources that can provide direction and advice to grow a business.
communityCommunity 
A strong local economy means creating a quality of life that emboldens a workforce to live, play and stay.
Connect > Engage > Prosper
 
Join today! 

Your business could thrive thanks to membership. Your future could depend on membership. Connect with success at the Chamber of Commerce! For more information on joining, contact our Membership Director Kim Boyd at (256) 237-3536 or via email at kimb@calhounchamber.com. Connect, Engage, Prosper and stop by to see us at 1330 Quintard Avenue in Anniston!

Anniston Army Depot

The Calhoun County Chamber & Visitors Center is decking the halls to show some holiday spirit! All Chamber Members are invited to participate and bring a mini-Christmas tree that reflects their business or Calhoun County to display in the Chamber Lobby.

 

  • mini$10 entry fee; provide your tree and decorations
  • Trees must be no more than 30″ tall (including stand).
  • Any lights must be battery-powered
  • Trees can reflect the business or “Christmas in Calhoun County.”
  • A picture of each tree will be posted on the Chamber’s Facebook page where visitors can vote for Best Overall by liking the picture.
  • Trees must be set up in the lobby between Nov. 27 & Nov. 30.
  • The contest will run from Dec. 1 through Dec. 21.
  • The “Best Overall” winner will receive a SPOTLIGHT on social media
  • BONUS: Voters can also bring a canned good into the lobby and place it under
    your tree. Each can item equals 1 vote.
  • All canned goods will be donated to Calhoun County food banks.

Call (256)237-3536 to reserve your place.

shop         Investing in local businesses means investing in the non-profits those same businesses support, investing in community events that benefit the quality of life for our public, and investing in local little league and school teams aiding our kids and future community and workforce development. This investment recirculates again and again in our community, to local accountants, print shops, restaurants, and more!

Know when shopping local, you’re making an impact on our schools, public services like safety and fire protection, roads and much more. So before making that easy purchase online, remember, money spent here, stays here.

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While we are often drawn to the lowest prices, we overlook the convenience, customer service and goods provided by our neighbors. We challenge our members and communities to think long term. Help us keep our local economy strong and invest in main street, shop small and shop local. Utilize our area businesses and services whenever you can. Thank you for continuing to help our communities grow. Begin a new holiday tradition, and pledge your support everyday to think local first.

Big Reasons You Should Shop Small

· Small Businesses give back to the community

· Small Businesses create more jobs

· Small Businesses provide the best customer service

· Small Businesses provide product diversity

· Small Businesses create community

Let friends know you shop local!

Get vocal on social media and use #UShopLocal when you share pictures, tweets and posts.

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Shop Small November

November 1, 2017

shop small

So much good can happen when communities choose to shop small. As you begin to shop for the holidays, venture away from your norm to discover something new, unique, local.

Bonnie Ray’s Bake Shoppe

1225 Snow Street Suite 01, Oxford

$2.00 off any pie order at regular price..limit 2

Escape Zone

1945 Barry Street, Oxford

$2 off admission to any available game during open booking using coupon code SS17 at checkout  (excludes Santa’s List)

Evans Flower Shop

1014B Noble Street, Anniston

10% off on everything for entire month

Furniture Outlet

1006 Noble Street, Anniston

10% off for the entire month of November and 25% off for Shop small Saturday Nov 25th

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Gem Shoe Repair

908 Noble Street, Anniston

10% off everything for entire month

Hubbard’s Off Main

16 Choccolocco Street, Oxford

Free beer or wine with entrée purchase all month

JC Morgan Art Gallery

324 Snow Street, Oxford

Present card for 10% off any one print purchase (one use per day) November 24th Free $20 Gift certificate with any purchase of $200.00 pre tax

Jefferson’s of Oxford

230 Spring Branch Road, Oxford

Free Pickle Appetizer- Fridays in November (with purchase of an entree)

Kolectic Treasures

4406 McClellan Blvd, Anniston

5% off entire purchase, on Tuesdays, & some exclusions may apply

Oxford Lumber

1400 Barry Street, Oxford

20% off your purchase every Friday in November. Exclusions may apply. Not valid with any other offer.

Pine Hill Country Club

go shop small

175 Pine Hill Drive, Anniston

 

18 Holes and Cart for $20 during November

Shooter’s Alley, LLC

321 Hamric Dr, Oxford

Single lane rental for $10.00

Smallcakes Cupcakery

100 Ali Way, Oxford

Monday-Wednesday, Buy 3 Cupcakes Get 1 Free.

Tans Down Under

1521 Greenbrier Dear Road, Anniston

$5.oo of any tanning package and/or 20% off products.

Thai One On

911 Noble Street, Anniston

free serving of his new Pho soup with an entree for the month

i pledge

The Rustic Farmhouse

175 Plaza Lane, Oxford

10% off total purchase on Thursdays

Tyson Fine Wines & Things

3326 Henry Rd., Anniston

10% off Stonewall Kitchen on Saturday Nov. 25th only

Wig’s Wheels

1229 Noble Street, Anniston

30% all in stock clothing, except shop kits, for entire month

shop small nov2shop small nov

shake handsWhat to do and what not to do? That is the question…. When you begin networking you may have 100 question, but here are basic suggestions for getting started.

What to do?

  • networking“How can I help?” – Don’t start by thinking what they can do for you. Make it memorable by offering to help them first.
  • Offer a hand. As you introduce yourself, extend your hand for a handshake.
  • Don’t be a wallflower. It’s easy to approach anyone standing alone first.
  • Don’t forget your business cards, and ask for their card to follow up.
  • Take notes, either on the back of their card or on your phone.
  • Include others that want to join your circle, and maybe start with “we were just saying…”
  • Have fun! Smile more!

network

What not to do?

  • Stick to your norm. If you realize you’re standing amongst friends, spread out to meet new people.
  • Technology Foul. Don’t check your email, texts or take calls while you’re networking.
  • “I forgot my name tag!” We’ve got you covered at Chamber events, but make sure you wear it on the right side, so it’s easy to read when shaking hands.

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October 17, 2017, more than 1500 attendees perused 95 exhibitors, including 15 restaurants, at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center’s 33rd annual Business to Business EXPO.

Exhibitors raved about the great contacts and customers they met, while visitors were overwhelmed by the variety of businesses represented and the helpful people they met.

 

Thank you to our sponsors for making this the biggest and best year yet!

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Best of Show: Tempforce

Best 1st Time Exhibitors: Home Advantage

Best Giveaway: J. Brittain Associates

Most Fun: Abbey Carpet & Floor and New Leaf Marketing

Best Staff: Action Industries/Highland Health

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Most Innovative: AOD Federal Credit Union

Voted Best Lunch & Best Dinner: Peerless Saloon & Grille

Best Customer Experience: Artisanal Baked Goods

Best Pizza: Wiseguys “Chicago Don”

 

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Best Chicken: Heroes “Voodoo Chicken”

Best Wings: Thai One On “Thai Curry Wings”

 

Best Sandwich: Honeybaked Ham “Tavern Club”

Best Dessert: Artisanal Baked Goods “Kouiqn Amann” (Queen Aman)

Best BBQ: Golden Corral

Barrel of Spirits: Brook Comfort & Mandi Lee

Network Advice 102

October 13, 2017

networkCold-calling is pretty miserable, so why not take 60 minutes of your time to attend a Chamber event with the sole purpose of connecting with others and building a new list of potential customer contacts.

We try to accommodate everyone’s time commitments. We know, not everyone is a morning person or they may have to take their child to school; however, we offer, the first Thursday of every month, Business & Biscuits at 7:30 A.M. This event we move around the county, so no one continually has to come out of their way. The second Wednesday of every month at noon, we host Lunch & Leads at various member restaurants. Everyone takes a lunch, so why not make the most of it and try to connect with new prospects too.

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The third Tuesday of every month, beginning at 5:30 P.M. we present “Business After Hours” for those that prefer after work events. This opportunity remains our largest monthly opportunity, with 100-200 members attending each month.

 

The Chamber is a great way to get your name publicized in the neighborhood. The Chamber strives to be the #1 source of information, with resources that included our community calendar of events, hot deals and job posting opportunities.

 

If “networking” or crowds make you nervous, we’re here to help. The Chamber staff and volunteers will help with any introductions, but we ask for you to ready with any basic key questions, such as:

  • engageTell me about you (or your business).
  • What’s your most recent success?
  • What projects are you working on now?

Practice makes perfect. Success doesn’t come overnight. Follow up those introductions with phone calls, emails and thank you notes. Make the introductions memorable and set yourself apart. In the age technology, we want immediate answers. The more you get out there, meet people, help people, the more will come back to you and your business.

 

People do business with people they know. As the Chamber “Connections” tagline reads, “Connect – Engage – Prosper.”

connect

Connections are vital to any business; however, there are people that enjoy it and those that do not. It’s important to recognize this in your employees and allow them to thrive at what they enjoy, but none the less, if you like networking events or not, we all could improve.

Think of it being as easy as C-D-E, Communicating, Developing and Exchanging.

connect

Communicate does not mean just talk. It means conveying a message through words and action to make sure it is understood. There’s a slogan that sums it up, “pretend as if your audience knows nothing.” So often, we use lingo and assume we’re being understood. Define things the average joe wouldn’t know.

Develop new relationships and grow old ones. So often referrals and word of mouth marketing, from peer to peer, is the most effective. Remember “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want referrals, give referrals. If you want likes on Facebook, give likes on Facebook, etc.

engage

Don’t think of networking as just shaking hands. Think of it as an opportunity to exchange ideas to benefit your business and community. It’s sometimes awkward to go up and introduce yourself to strangers. Our staff, ambassadors and board are there to help with those introductions, and that window allows you to strike up conversation.

Don’t miss a key element of business, people. We’re here to help you “Connect” with fellow businesses and people, “Engage” in the community, and “Prosper” into a successful business and region.