How to Write a Business Plan

September 21, 2018

A business plan is the foundation for a business. Would you or someone you know like to learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently?


Tuesday, October 2, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 (Noon), the Chamber is partnering with Gilbert Creative Services and the JSU Small Business Development Center to present a workshop, which includes:

  • – Reasons for a Business Plan
  • – Benefits & Risks
  • – Categories of Business
  • – Elements of a Business Plan

The event will also provide worksheets to get you started. This event is free of charge, but there is limited seating. Please RSVP to (256) 237-3536.


Chamber In The Classroom

September 14, 2018

BAE System (Adopt) schoolInspire our future workforce through the classroom of today and engage with area  schools to enhance soft skills and learning! Although some businesses provide funding for specific school needs, the greatest benefit to education is derived from the personal involvement of volunteers in schools. Partnerships provide an opportunity for students that improves levels of academic achievement, self‐esteem, and understanding of the expectations of the work world. If you would love to have a part in our Chamber in the Classroom Program, we have monthly & quarterly opportunities for you to assist high school students in learning valuable employ-ability skills.


The Chamber & Visitors Center strives to connect businesses to our community through various opportunities. Some of the opportunities include, but are not limited to:

volunteerA. Volunteer For Chamber in the Classroom

“I want to put a ding in the universe” – Steve Jobs Are you ready to put a ding in the universe too? If so, we would love to have you as part of our Chamber in the Classroom Program. We have monthly & quarterly opportunities for Chamber Member representatives to assist high school students in learning valuable employ-ability skills. If you are up to the task, email or call (256) 237-3536.

committeeB. Join a Chamber Committee

Our committees make the world go round. These volunteers help plan and orchestrate events, visit members, and advocate for our schools and businesses. Our committees include, but are not limited to: Military & Security Affairs, Public Affairs, Small Business, Partners in Education, Business EXPO, Salute to Industry, and Ambassadors.

mentorC. Mentor a Small Business

From up and coming entrepreneurs at Jacksonville State University and Gadsden State to retirees pursuing a dream, we have so many creative community members beginning their journey as a business owner. If you’re interested in mentoring a small business owner, call (256) 237-3536 and let us know.

Meet our Fall Interns!

August 31, 2018

IMG-1013“My name is Baily Scott, I am a local to the Calhoun County area. I am currently a Senior at Jacksonville State University majoring in Communications with a focus in Public Relations and a minor in English. I enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors in my spare time. I first became involved with the Chamber my senior year in high school. Emily Duncan was my mentor, and I credit this experience with narrowing down what path of communications to take. A year and half into my college career I began interning for Main Street Anniston. It was through this opportunity that I once again found myself involved in Calhoun County. As a chance to work with the Chamber of Commerce surfaced just 3 short years after my initial encounter, I sought to continue my involvement. I look forward to working at the Chamber throughout this Fall semester.”

abbie“My name is Abbie Patterson, and I grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I am a senior at Jacksonville State University, double majoring in Public Relations and Political Science. Last semester, I interned with the Friends Committee on National Legislation out of Washington D.C., organizing constituent lobby visits. I also interned under Briaunna Buckner in the Public Affairs department of the Chamber, which led me to this Public Relations internship. This Fall at the Chamber, I hope to increase my writing and research skills, help plan and market events and overall help the Chamber grow. After graduation, I plan to get a Masters in Public Administration and go on to work in Public/Governmental Affairs. I’m so excited for a semester filled with learning, growing and working under such great people!”


Member Driven

August 27, 2018

DSC05909We often describe our organization as member driven, but what does that mean?
Our Board of Directors, made up of individuals representing Chamber Member Businesses, oversee and have fiduciary responsibilities to make sure the Chamber staff and volunteers always work with the Chamber mission of “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” in mind.

Our committees and volunteers, who execute the Chamber’s mission and focus areas through events and services, are also made up of individuals representing various Chamber members. TDSC05924hese individuals not only attend and work events, but they also commit to the planning and execution of these events. They give of their time and energy, and without these people, many of our events would not be what they are today.
Our Board of Directors and committees represent our members. Without our diverse membership, which represents and reflects our diverse communities, we couldn’t do everything we do.
So, September we celebrate you, our members!
Friday, September 7, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Member Appreciation Day
& Chamber Challenge Field Day
Where: Oxford Lake: 401 McCullars Lane, Oxford
(If you want to form or be on a team, email
Thursday, September 20, Noon Shotgun Start
Salute to Industry Golf Outing
Where: Anniston Country Club, 601 Highland Avenue
(If you’d like to play, please email
For more information, visit

2018 Shakespeare Project

August 8, 2018

Copy of Julius CaesarThrough grants and community contributions, this summer, we’ve hired our professional production team and cast, developed classroom resources, and produced a 90 minute abridged performance of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, set in a more modern setting and dress to aid in comprehension.

William Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR


At Anniston Performing Arts Center (Anniston High School)

Wednesday, August 15, 9:00 A.M. & 12:00 P.M.

Thursday, August 16, 9:00 A.M. & 12:00 P.M.

Friday, August 17, 9:00 A.M.




Friday, August 17, 7:00 P.M.

Saturday, August 18, 7:00 P.M.

Sunday, August 19, 2:00 P.M.

All tickets are FREE and available at the Calhoun County Area Chamber & Visitors Center in Anniston or will be available as first come first serve at the door. For tickets, call (256)237-3536 or email

Each 90 minute performance will be followed by a 30 minute Q&A and preceded by a “Green Show” as audiences arrive.

Partners in Education

July 27, 2018

Partners In Education LogoPartners in Education is a group of Chamber members, local government representatives, and administrators from every school in the county. This committee shares ideas and looks for ways to promote and strengthen education within our community. Members of this committee help with everything from finding job shadowing opportunities for high schoolers, mentoring elementary and middle school kids, participating in career fairs and school club days, organizing hands on efforts for schools such as clean up days, and even serve as a part of our speaker’s bureau list.

If you are a school with specific needs that area businesses can assist with, please contact Krychelle Smith, the Chamber’s Program Director, with details and information to share with businesses and find partners to help meet your needs.

If you’re a business or volunteer who would like to become involved or assist with area schools’ needs, you can also contact the Krychelle Smith at the Chamber at 256-237-3536 or email her at

Invest in our future now, so our community can reap the benefits later.


Calling All Businesses

July 20, 2018


The Calhoun County Area Chamber currently has more than 1100 members and is eager to expand its number. Businesses of any size in any city or town are eligible to join. Business in Calhoun County and surrounding areas who want to grow their business are encouraged to join, increase their community visibility, and make valuable new connections all at the same time!

This August, our Board members will be reaching out to business owners who want to connect, engage and expand their community connections as part of the Chamber’s 2018 Membership Campaign.


The Campaign is designed to attract companies from every industry and profession, who do business in Calhoun County. If you know someone ready to take the next step with business growth and you would like to volunteer and make calls, let us know at (256) 237-3536.

Membership includes a broad range of benefits including educational workshops, networking opportunities, marketing, facts on pending legislation, business referrals and social events. In addition, the Chamber will be celebrating all of our members at our Annual Member Appreciation Day and Corporate Challenge on Friday, September 7, soon followed by our Business to Business EXPO on October 16.

saveChamber membership is a smart, affordable investment, and is a great way to make new business contacts and build your business connections.

Interested in gaining exposure for your business and helping us recruit members to the Calhoun County Area Chamber & Visitors Center? Volunteers will be calling August 7, 15 and 23, so if you’re interested, contact the Calhoun County Area Chamber’s Membership Director Kim Boyd at, or at 256-237-3536.

By: The Public Affairs Committee of the Calhoun County Area Chamber & Visitors Center

IMG_7544In a recent event held by the Chamber, a representative from the Alabama Attorney General’s office came to discuss a lawsuit against the Census Bureau surrounding the issue of counting illegal immigrants for the sake of congressional representation on the 2020 Census. The duo spearheading this lawsuit include Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Alabama Representative Mo Brooks (R). “Congressional seats should be apportioned based on the population of American citizens, not illegal aliens,” Brooks said in a recent press release. The duo claim that the rule of counting all those who reside in a specific population, whether legal or illegal citizens, for the distribution of congressional representatives is a violation of the 14th amendment—granting citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States.
DSC07291Their argument also outlines that this rule is inconsistent with other federal laws and is
inconsistent with the constitutional goal of equal representation. “The Constitution does not permit the dilution of our legal residents; right to equal representation in this manner,” Marshall said in the press release.

When asked if the lawsuit was insisting that illegal immigrants who are very much so a part of the community should be excluded from the Census count, which is critical to school systems and local and state funding, the representative stated that the lawsuit is aimed only to address counting illegal immigrants in terms of the distribution of congressional representation amongst the states and is not concerned with the funding aspect of the Census.

IMG_7143Alabama is one of the few states that has taken the initiative to file a lawsuit surrounding this issue. Coincidentally, Alabama is one of the only states who will have something to lose from the counting of illegal immigrants. Currently, Alabama has seven seat in the U.S. House and nine votes in the Electoral College. Out of 50 states, Alabama is one of the few states who is projected to lose a congressional seat if illegal immigrants are counted going form seven and nine to six and eight. This means more citizens in Alabama crammed into larger districts of representation, and consequently less representation for Alabama on a national scale. The lawsuit states that in 2010 states including Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio lost house seats because people in the country illegally were included, while California, Texas, and Florida, with high illegal immigrant populations, gained seats. In addition, Alabama also stands to lose federal funding that is based on the census that would otherwise be used for highways, programs for children, low-income families, and healthcare.

This is why it is extremely important to complete the Census with or without the lawsuit. In order for Alabama to be fairly represented on a national scale, we must have representatives to be our voices in the policy-making process. Filling out the Census is just one step in ensuring that our votes are not diluted and our voices are not over looked. Other ways to get involved is to join our Public Affairs Committee of the Chamber. We have a subcommittee specifically designed to increase awareness of the importance of the Census in 2020 as well as to be involved in other local, state, and federal issues.

rcYou’ve just opened your new business or are planning to commence construction for your new building. You want to celebrate and have the community recognize your business.

Ribbon Cuttings with the Chamber are the perfect way to do that!


The Chamber offers free ribbon-cutting ceremonies for its members!

Ribbon Cuttings are a celebration at the Chamber, and typically, held during normal business hours and featuring light refreshments provided by the business. The Chamber brings the ribbon and scissors and helps publicize your celebration.

20141113_104303For more information or to schedule your ribbon cutting, contact the Chamber at 256-237-3536. Please submit your event information at least a month before your desired event date.