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Business After Hours events are for Chamber members only and are held the third Tuesday of every month. Regarded as the area’s best networking opportunity, these events offer guests the chance to meet people representing products and services in a relaxed, social setting. How can you make the most of these opportunities?

  • DSC04434Wearing a badge or a name tag to an event like this helps familiarize people with your face, your name and your business. Even if they don’t need your business or service immediately, chances are they’ll remember you when they do, just from meeting at After Hours.
  • Other members can introduce you around and act as referrals. Stats show word of mouth marketing is today’s most effective method, so allow our staff and ambassadors to help you meet new potential customers. Then, one day, pay it forward and introduce other new members to your member friends. 
  • DSC04339Membership in the chamber builds trust and confidence in the community. We receive phone calls everyday, “is so and so a member?” If not, they’ll ask us for a business that is. Much of the time, members won’t know if you’re a member unless you’re actively participating and attending events. As some say “you get out what you put in.” 

Remember, people do business with people they know, so come meet and mingle with fellow members. If after hours isn’t your thing, we have breakfast and lunch meetings too! There’s something for everyone! 

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Calhoun County’s service industry continues to grow. From new hotels to new parks like Choccolocco, is your business taking full advantage of this growing local audience?

  1. IMG_7334
    Your Chamber of Commerce also serves as a visitors center. Make sure to bring coupons, menus or promotional cards by the Chamber office for display to be included in welcome packets. As an example, for the Dixie Youth Little League World Series we’re creating 576 packets. That’s just for one event, so bring plenty of items.
  2. IMG_7336Every event is generally in need of volunteers. From those working gates and registration to those blocking intersections and more, events rely on the hard work of volunteers. It’s also a great way to draw event organizers to your business as a resource.
  3. IMG_7337Sponsorships are vital to the success of an event. Sponsorships help cover the cost of organizing the event, so proceeds can go to local non-profits and organizations. It’s also a way to get your business noticed. From signage to links and announcements, sponsorships range in cost based on the publicity received.
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    Several community events also allow for vendors. Keep an eye on our Chamber Community Calendar and show your support of the community events through your participation. Many times, it’s a way to introduce a new audience to your products and services.

We’re all in this together, so more than anything, be in the know. A community’s success trails back to the people who make it up. If a community is proud and fully aware of what’s going on, it’s best for everyone, from the visitors to our neighbors and families. There’s always something to do when you Visit Calhoun County! 

Keep In Touch

June 30, 2017

We’re often asked “How can I make the most of my membership?”

  • informKeep us Posted: If you have questions about things mentioned in newsletters and emails, just ask. We’re here to help and connect you with the membership, the public and visitors.
  • Utilize the Member Information Center: Do you have a member login? If not, call or email us, and we’ll get you set up. It’s as easy as us creating a username and password over the phone or emailing you a link to create your own. There, you can advertise job opportunities, events, hot deals and more to your fellow members.
  • Sign up for text reminders: Get event reminders straight to your phone. Text @bce294 to the number 81010 and receive text message reminders for our monthly networking events.
  • member-savingsSign up to save: Our members get Office Depot perks. Text “CalhounSPC” to the number 555-888, and you’ll receive a Chamber Store Discount Card straight to your phone.
  • Download our app: Search “Calhoun2Go” in the app store. Create a login and browse a map of members near you, upcoming events and more!
  • Submit your events: You don’t even have to login. Just visit http://www.calhounchamber.com, click the News & Events’ Event Calendar, and on the top right of the calendar you’ll see “submit new event.” Click that, complete the form, and submit the event for approval. We’ll post it as soon as we receive the notification.

Membership can be rewarding. Stay in the loop and keep us in the loop!

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Have a Need?

June 23, 2017

new siteThere’s a Chamber member business for every need and situation. Chamber members are as diverse as the county itself. Start searching our member directory today at CalhounChamber.com.  

Don’t have access to a computer?

Regardless of whether you’re planning on visiting for a day, opening a business, or relocating permanently, the Chamber is your one-stop information shop on all things Calhoun County.

chamber buildingThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center is here to assist you with all of your needs. We are your #1 source of information! Monday through Friday, we’re open 8 A.M. to 5 P.M., with regional experts on staff to help point you in the right direction and answer your questions.

  • Welcome Packets
  • Visitor Information
  • Community Calendars
  • and much more!

Call us at 256-237-3536 or come see us at 1330 Quintard Avenue, Anniston. Visit http://www.CalhounChamber.com for more information.

ad history

Try not to use Google….

  1. Calhoun County was once named _____ County.
  • a. Pelham
  • b. Benton
  • c. Jackson
  • d. Cheaha

2. Where’s the world’s largest office chair?

  • a. Anniston
  • b. Piedmont
  • c. Weaver
  • d. Oxford

3. In what year the county seat more from Jacksonville to Anniston?

  • a. 1865
  • b. 1920
  • c. 1900
  • d. 1917

4. Jacksonville was built on acreage purchased from who, under the Treaty of Cusseta of 1832?

  • a. Lincoya
  • b. Chinnabee
  • c. Ladiga
  • d. Menawa

5. In what year was Camp McClellan established?

  • a. 1940
  • b. 1941
  • c. 1917
  • d. 1900

6. Which community was home to John Pelham?

  • a. Jacksonville
  • b. Lickskillet
  • c. Piedmont
  • d. Alexandria

7. How long is the Ladiga Trail?

  • a. 100 miles
  • b. 50 miles
  • c. 33 miles
  • d. 64 miles

8. Cider Ridge was once the home to what?

  • a. A Llama Farm
  • b. An Apple Orchard
  • c. A Bison Ranch
  • d. A Winery

9. Cartoonist Tom Sims of Ohatchee created what comic strip?

  • a. Little Orphan Annie
  • b. Dennis the Menace
  • c. Gasoline Alley
  • d. Popeye

10. In what year were the JSU Gamecocks the NCAA Football Champions?

  • a. 1992
  • b. 1980
  • c. 1985
  • d. 2000

How did you do?

Answers:    B   A   C   C   C   D   C   B   D   A

Benton County was established in 1832, named for Thomas Hart Benton, with its county seat in Jacksonville. Benton was a political ally of John C. Calhoun, a slaveholder and a U.S. senator from South Carolina. Through the 1820s-1840s, Benton slowly came to the conclusion that slavery was wrong and that preservation of the union was paramount. In 1858, Alabama renamed Benton County as Calhoun County.

big chairIn 1981, Miller’s Office Supply in Anniston, Alabama, wanted to call attention to itself. Owner Leonard “Sonny” Miller had an inspired idea: he would build the world’s largest chair in the vacant lot next to his building. The result still stands today: a chair 33 feet tall with a 15-foot-square seat, built out of ten tons of steel.

The county seat was moved to Anniston after years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June 1900.

The Treaty of Cusseta was an agreement between the U.S. government and the Creek Nation in which the Creeks ceded the remainder of their land east of the Mississippi River, all of which was located in east Alabama.

mcclellan retrospect_ampitheatreIn 1917, at the start of World War I, the United States Army established a training camp at Fort McClellan.

John Pelham was the third of seven children, with five brothers and a sister Betty, born to Dr. Atkinson and Martha Pelham at his grandparents’ home along Cane Creek near Alexandria, Alabama. He grew up on the family’s 1,000-acre plantation.

The Chief Ladiga Trail is Alabama’s premiere rails-to-trails project. It wanders 33 miles through the countryside of Calhoun and Cleburne counties. In 2008 the “Chief” was connected to Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail completing what is now considered to be the longest paved pedestrian pathway in America. Together the trails are 95 miles long with plans for future extensions and spurs.

More than 100 years ago, Cider Ridge was originally home to the Melon Apple Orchard. This orchard grew up to 11,000 bushels of apples annually on the property, and at its peak, produced more than 20,000 gallons of apple cider a year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPopeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar. After Segar’s death in 1938, many different artists were hired to draw the strip. Tom Sims, the son of a Coosa River channel-boat captain, continued writing Thimble Theatre strips and established the Popeye the Sailorman spin-off.

Jacksonville State‘s first football team was fielded in 1904. Jacksonville State University’s first football team, the Eagle Owls, was formed in the late 19th century. Before the start of the 1947 season, not only did the team change their colors from blue and gold to red and white but the mascot changed to the Fighting Gamecocks. The Gamecocks were defeated in their first three championship game appearances, losing 33–0 to Lehigh in 1977, 3–0 to Mississippi College in 1989 (later vacated), and 23–6 to Pittsburg State in 1991. The next year, the Gamecocks defeated Pittsburg State 17–13 in 1992.

#IGoCalCo

June 8, 2017

chamber buildingThe Calhoun County Chamber also serves as the Visitors Center, and we know that our front line staff, greeting visitors to our area, consists of restaurants, hotels, shops, attractions and residents.

So, this summer, think #IGoCalCo and Eat, Stay, Play Calhoun County! What do you love most about Calhoun County?

 

Like the best scenes of improv, don’t say no, and argue about someone else’s answer. Let’s build up community pride, try new things, new restaurants, new adventures.

 

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Be proud of where you’re from and the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday. Often, when you grow up seeing the same thing everyday, you take it for granted.

 

Truely think about it, and I think you’ll find it hard to just name one thing you love. There are so many great restaurants, outdoor activities and more!

Let us “tag” along with you this summer, and use hashtag #IGoCalCo for the things you love most about our communities!

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Searching for services you can rely on-The Chamber strives to be the number one resource of information for visitors, for residents, for business, and well everyone.

Daily, we receive phone calls, asking for everything from directions to welcome packets to recommendations or to file complaints. Unfortunately, we don’t file complaints because we have no way of tracking; however, we direct those calls to the Better Business Bureau office in Birmingham.

DSC02556We do, however, recommend those businesses that come to our mind first, Chamber Members. We are able to utilize our online business directory to search and meet the needs of those people who call on us.

Some of our top categories searched include restaurants, non-profits, insurance, car washes, boutiques, bookstores, manufacturing, cleaning services and so much more.

Is you business on this list? If you’re not sure, give us a call at (256)237-3536. networkWe’d love to have your information and connect you with the largest business network in Northeast Alabama. If you are a member, but want to get more involved, join us for Chamber 101, learn the ways to improve your online listing and the many other opportunities exclusive to our Chamber Members.

Looking for a business that offers services you need? Browse our member directory at CalhounChamber.com.

What is a Chamber?

May 25, 2017

DSC03397A chamber of commerce is a local organization comprised of members, representing individuals, businesses, organizations and industries of various sizes. The Chamber’s goal is the growth of the communities it represents and business.

The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center works with the mission 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 live. The Chamber’s focus areas are:

  1. DSC03751Advocacy: These efforts include our Public Affairs & Military & Security Affairs Committees presenting to local, state and federal elected officials, from Mayors’ Roundtables to Washington Fly-Ins.
  2. Marketing & Tourism: The Chamber also serves as the visitors center, offering resources, tours, marketing efforts and communications, elevating community visibility and capturing the attention of visitors.
  3. wowEducation & Workforce Development: From elementary and high school to high education institutions serving our communities, the Chamber strives to create partnerships between our schools a, businesses and industries, educating students of career choices, offering intern and mentorships, and targeting workforce needs.
  4. Financial Stability: The Chamber knows members want a return on their investment, so we strive to educate our membership of opportunities to promote themselves and research Affinity programs offered to chambers that could save our members money.
  5. Member Engagement: If you connect and engage in the Chamber, you can pretty much guarantee you will prosper. Our member information center is rich with resources, from posting job opportunities and hot deals to promoting upcoming events. There are also various committees member can serve on based on their interest and business focus.

This four star accredited 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.

Together Everyone Achieves More! Join Us! 

Create More Leaders

May 16, 2017

Leadership Calhoun County (LCC) is a program of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and is designed to prepare and build upon leadership resources within our entire county. Each class will be comprised of leaders and emerging leaders of this area.

This ten month program is broken down to days in the program of work.

  • program-lcc“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
    • Team Building & Orientation Day brings the classmates together quickly. From trust falls to climbing walls, they realize each others’ strengths and weaknesses and organize to do what’s best for the group as a whole.
  • CDP & Media Day
    • This day takes participants to the Center for Domestic Preparedness for an in depth tour and scenario, allowing class members to experience the training first hand. The day also includes a “how to” for media interviews in times of crisis and success.
  • lccAnniston Army Depot & Personality Profiles
    • This day allows class members to see the workforce and production of our area’s largest employer, the Anniston Army Depot. The day also includes a personality test and summary, comparing classmates to one another, their thinking and method of problem solving.
  • Economic Development & Industry Day
    • Every leader is networked to other movers and shakers. This program day introduces class members to various industries of various sizes and types, showcasing the diverse industry types our communities rely on for success.
  • DSC01800Education Day
    • This program day breaks the class into groups, who then go and tour different schools of different sizes and types to compare resources available at each individual school and school system. From private to public, this day showcases the opportunities and successes of each system.
  • Cultural Arts, Board Training, and Financial Sector Day
    • From Etiquette to board responsibilities, this day prepares leaders for possible opportunities to serve in the community, make a lasting impression and learn how to do it best. A summary of the financial sector is also provided.
  • Healthcare Day
    • Another large employer in our community is the Healthcare sector. This day provides class members behind the scenes tours of healthcare facilities in the county and allows them to hear directly from healthcare leaders about challenges and successes.
  • ylcc-hearing-from-farmers-marketLocal Government & Law & Justice Day
    • This day merges with Youth Leadership Calhoun County to provide a tour of the county courthouse, the county jail and the county administration building, hearing from local leaders, lawyers and officers about challenges faced.
  • State Government Day
    • The day transports the class to Montgomery, touring the Capitol, the House, the Senate and hearing pending legislation and issues up for debate. Local elected officials also visit with the class to discuss bills and discussion directly related to our communities.
  • bus-dev-expoSmall Business & Community Service Day
    • This day features a panel of small business owners and tours of local small businesses, providing insight of challenges faced, exciting improvements to the local economy and why it’s important to shop local. The day also includes an activity with the United Way, portraying the importance of area non-profits.
  • Quality of Life Day
    • Think you know your communities? This day puts community history and knowledge to the test as the class breaks into small groups on a mission to solve multiple scavenger hunt clues. The team with the most points wins.

If this sounds like a wonderful and educational opportunity that could benefit your business, complete an LCC Application by May 31st!

The Chamber of Commerce hosts the Business Awards to recognize the role local small businesses, individuals and organizations have in our local economy. This year, we recognize 21 small businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs for their job well done. These were nominated by their customers and members of the public, completed detailed applications, which were reviewed and narrowed down by anonymous regional peers and a panel from our Chamber.

DSC04002An entrepreneur is defined as a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. All these nominees are under 40 years of age. The nominees for Young Entrepreneur of the Year are….

  • Niky Vanhatten from eNVy Salon
  • Jean & Steven Ellison from The Music Box
  • Jay Grubbs, from RA-LIN and Associates, Inc.

This year’s Young Entrepreneur of the year says “You can’t expect others to do what you aren’t willing to do,” expecting annual training of herself and her staff to ensure all are educated and up-to-date on trends, techniques, tools and styles. The 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year is Niky Vanhatten from eNVy Salon.

DSC04004Calhoun County has been known as an extremely giving community. We have many opportunities give back to our communities through our non-profits. The Nominees for Non-Profit of the Year are….

  • The Right Place for Housing & Support, Inc. 
  • RMC Foundation
  • United Way of East Central Alabama

Since 1954, this organization has provided a comprehensive network of programs and initiatives to address the most pressing health and human service needs in Calhoun, Cleburne and Randolph counties. Our 2017 Non-Profit of the Year is the United Way of East Central Alabama.

DSC04007Now comes the time to recognize our 2017 Emerging Small Business of the Year. An emerging business is defined as a business in existence for less than 5 years. These businesses are just beginning to make their mark. The nominees for Emerging Small Businesses of the Year are….

  • Daybreak Media LLC
  • Hometown Parent Magazine
  • Infinity Massage Studio for Women
  • Posche Salon
  • Taste of Eden

After the success of the Alabama College and Career Guide in 2015, the Dan Freeman Project began publishing Hometown Parent, which became their fastest growing publication, free for readers in print and online.  Our 2017 Emerging Small Business of the Year is Hometown Parent Magazine.

Our Sustaining Small Business Award recognizes a business that has been in existence for more than 5 years. These businesses are the ones who have re-invented themselves, from time to time. This year’s nominees for Sustaining Small Business of the Year are…

  • DSC04011Autumn Cove
  • Calhoun Insurance
  • Cobb Automotive
  • Downing and Sons
  • Brittain Associates
  • Moore Printing Co.
  • Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor
  • Wise Environmental
  • Xtreme Autospa
  • Young Oil, Inc.

This year’s winner is exceptionally active in the Chamber, sponsor blood drives, food drives and area non-profits, and serve on server committees and boards throughout the community. For the past 30 Years, this business has grown from managing 30 homes to now more than 650 units. Our 2017 Sustaining Small Business of the Year is J. Brittain Associates.

DSC04013This year had many great sustaining small businesses celebrating longevity in our communities. The Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a business, which has set the precedence for our area small businesses. In January 1941, M.V. Young, his wife Ruth, and children Millard, Louis and Martha moved to Piedmont. There, he started a private brand service station and farm fuel supply business. In 1946, they expanded to Jacksonville, and by 1949, another outlet opened in Piedmont and Centre. Over the years, this business continued to grow, adding locations in Oxford, Anniston, Weaver and beyond.  Young Oil/Grub Mart is still a family owned and operated business providing valuable support to our communities, and we are honored to present tonight’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Young Oil, Inc.

DSC04014New, this year, we wanted to recognize a business for their tremendous contribution to the Chamber and for inspiring others through their commitment, motivation, vision and demonstration of great customer care. Our 2017 Business of Excellence Judge’s Special Recognition Award is presented to Ted’s Abbey Carpet & Floor.

DSC04016The Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate Award recognizes an individual or group that provides assistance and support to small businesses.  Since its beginning in 1981, the Jacksonville State University Small Business Development Center has contributed to the economic vitality of Alabama by helping generate sales and jobs for Alabama businesses. The SBDC is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration and a resource entrepreneurs can turn to for assistance, providing workshops, services and counseling. The 2017 Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate Award goes to the JSU Small Business Development Center.