Are You Prepared?

February 22, 2018



Is your business prepared for all emergencies? Have you identified your risks? Have you developed a plan for each? If not, take action, and prepare a plan to respond to all types of emergencies, from active shooter to losing a database or recovering after a natural disaster.

Now is the time to develop a site-specific emergency plan. The Chamber is partnering with the Calhoun County EMA to present this eight hour course, divided into two hour trainings over four days. Attending all four sessions is necessary to receive an official Ready Business Certification and business plan, and the topics covered include Threats, Hazards, Extreme Weather, Active Shooter, Telecommunications Outage, Medical Assistance, Responding to Crisis, Long Term Recovery, Community Impact, and more.

PIMG_3074There is a $50 fee, which must be paid in full prior to the training start date of March 29. This fee covers Ready Business plan materials, refreshments and your Ready Business Certification.  Any business or organization is welcome to attend, and representatives can register by calling (256) 237-3536.

Ready Business

Emergency Preparedness Classes

emaIn Partnership with the Calhoun County EMA

March 29, April 5, 12 & 19

9:00-11:00 AM

Calhoun County Chamber & Visitors Center

1330 Quintard Avenue, Anniston

$50 per person

Register by calling (256) 237-3536.





February 16, 2018


At the Chamber, our goal is the same as yours, the growth of your business! The Chamber offers many exclusive opportunities to our members, including networking events, training and services. As a member, do you take advantage of all these member advantages? 

Advertising and Publicity:


Publications, like our Find It Local Guide, offer exclusive advertising to members only.


Chamber events are exclusively sponsored by members only.


Being listed in our online membership directory is exclusive to those whose member dues are up-to-date.


Everyday, the Chamber receives calls asking for business recommendations. Is your information listing up-to-date?


From Job Postings to Upcoming Events, the member information is a hub of resources exclusive to Chamber Members. Learn more at


If you’re offering a discount or special for any occasion, make sure you add it to our Member to Member Discount Page or Hot Deals section of  There are also discounts available to Chamber Members Only!

calendarAccess your online Member Information Center:

  • Go to
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Click ‘Member Login’
  • Add Job Postings, Hot Deals, Events and pay your member dues or register for events online.
  • Promote your business, share information in the social feed, find out what’s happening, and more.
  • Can’t remember or don’t have a login? Call the Chamber, and we’ll get you all set!

Not sure where to start, call the Chamber at (256) 237-3536 or email for your member login information and more upcoming member only opportunities.



EXPAND: Grow Your Business


We’re here to help you grow your business! With cost-effective marketing to local consumers, weekly video “Quick Tips” to give you new business growth ideas, and many sponsorship opportunities where you can put your business front and center, your Chamber Membership will help you EXPAND!

shake hands

CONNECT: New Business Connections 

Who are you looking to CONNECT with? Chances are we can help you by plugging into our region’s largest business network, developing new relationships at our networking events, and connecting with potential strategic partners. This is where you’re likely to see the greatest return on your investment through your membership!

public affairs (3)

ENGAGE: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Let your voice be heard! By participating on Chamber committees and panels, you’ll be able to connect and share your ideas with local leaders. You also can engage with our Chamber Staff to get help when you need it most! We’re here for your success!

shop smallCONTRIBUTE: Be Part Of The Local Impact 

Come be part of the local impact we’re making here at the Chamber! Participate in local economic development initiatives, make an impact in shaping our local business culture, and as you grow, create and provide jobs for our local workforce. We can’t do it without you!

SAVE: Big Savings


The Chamber is always looking for ways to help you save through exclusive discounts available only to our members. Call the Chamber today to see what our current membership savings are. You’ll also be able to offer your fellow members discounts to drive new business.

Voice of Business

January 31, 2018

public affairs (2) If you search online for the “Voice of Business,” Chambers of Commerce frequently appear on search engines, and many Chambers are just that, following legislative issues on a local, state and federal level that could impact their business community.

public affairs (3)              In fact, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce tagline is “The Voice of Business.” Our Public Affairs committee works with the mission of representing and being a proactive voice for the members and the overall business community with all levels of government in order to improve and sustain a positive business climate. One of our organization’s Mission Focus Areas is  Advocating as the Political Voice of Business.

Public Affairs 8-9 forumOur cause is area business. Our proposal is our mission, “to promote and sustain the economic growth of the Calhoun County Region.” Within Public Affairs, we create a legislative agenda, describing our commitment and needs to create an improved business climate and quality of life for our region, to share with local, state and federal elected officials. We host Mayors’ Roundtables with our municipal representation, and we present legislative updates with state and federal representatives and senators. With these events and opportunities, we strive to educate and raise awareness of public affairs programs and issues affecting our communities.

legislative agenda public affairsThe Chamber is so committed to Public Affairs we’ve added Briaunna Buckner as a Coordinator of these efforts. Briaunna states, “It is such a wonderful opportunity to work side by side with such phenomenal leaders in the community.   The diligence of the Chamber’s members has allowed this position to be created.  As the Public Affairs Coordinator, my sole responsibility is to advocate on behalf of you!  I will do this by working closely with each of you to ensure that the voice of business is heard.  This includes promoting the Chamber’s state and federal legislative agendas, coordinating the Chamber’s Public Affairs programs and events, drafting and designing documents to keep members informed of legislative updates, and most importantly advancing the interests and the mission of the Chamber.  I look forward to frequent communication, and I invite you to stop by or give me a call with any ideas or interests that you may have.”  Help us welcome Briaunna to the team!


Make an Impact in 2018

January 31, 2018

DSC06363January 25, the Chamber celebrated its 39th Annual Meeting at the Oxford Civic Center with more than 250 members and representatives in attendance. At the Annual Meeting, each year, we celebrate the many successes of the past year and preview our plan of action for the coming year, as we swear in the new Board of Directors and announce the Chairman’s Cup Recipient and Ambassador of the Year.

DSC06422The Ambassador program consists of enthusiastic volunteers from the Chamber membership who donate their time to help build member commitment and raise community awareness of Chamber activities and benefits; mastering in Recruitment, Retention, and Referrals. Through their active role and participation in ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and events, the Chamber is able to better serve our membership. Some Ambassadors go above and beyond what is expected, well representing their business and the Chamber in the community.

This year’s Ambassador of the Year was Ken Barrett of Washin’ Coin Laundry. Ken has stepped up this year as the Ambassador Chair and continues to do all that is needed for our Ambassador program to grow and succeed.

Each Year, the Brenda Dozier Hollis Chairman’s Cup is awarded to recipients for their efforts, contributions and dedication to the Chamber and our communities. Brenda was dedicated to this Chamber and served as an advocate for getting new leaders and younger people involved with the Chamber. These honorees have worked tirelessly to grow the Chamber to truly represent and engage our business community and region.


In 2016, when the Chamber was launching its Military & Security Affairs Committee, we knew the importance of having a business co-chair representative and a co-chair with military experience leading the charge and engaging participation to ensure the retention and growth of our military, federal civilian and homeland defense forces in the area. Col. Joel Denney was a natural fit to help lead this initiative, orchestrate activities and events, develop strategies and programs and encourage community participation to protect our Military & Security organizations, jobs and our economy in the face of government downsizing and restructuring. Joel was a dedicated servant for this chamber and this great community.

This year, the Chamber was honored to present Joel’s wife Nancy and his children Jace and Jenny with Joel’s Chairman’s Cup. Thank you and your family for your contributions to this community.

DSC06426Our 2018 Chair Rod Nowlin closed the event with these words:

“In closing, whether you are passionate about education, interested in business & organizational development, or attentive to political affairs, the Chamber has opportunities for you, as a business and individual, to make an impact. So, I challenge you here today to make a new resolution, seeking ways you and your staff can engage more in the Chamber in 2018. Then together, we will fulfill our mission, which is 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.”

DSC04271The idea of Escape Zone Oxford was a result of a family’s “near obsession” for Escape Games. “We wanted to share our enthusiasm for the industry while bringing a unique pastime to the area,” says Escape Zone owner Ginger Bunn. The process of creating Escape Zone Oxford began in February of 2016, and with Ginger’s former business experience, the process and the vision quickly became a reality. Escape Zone Oxford offers a unique and fun approach to critical DSC04272thinking and problem solving through themed rooms filled with puzzles, riddles, and clues which must be solved in order to escape the scenario in 60 minutes or less. Common sense, critical thinking, and team work are all vital keys in playing the game. Sulley’s Sinking Ship and The Golden Formula are currently available. The Forgotten Pharaoh, their newest Egyptian themed game is under construction and scheduled to open in March. Escape Zone Oxford teams come in all ages and sizes! Teams consist of couples to large families, groups of long time friends to groups of newly introduced ones! They offer team building activities, private parties, field trips, and fundraisers in addition to open booking aid this business in reaching and creating an even broader range of enthusiasts. Escape Zone Oxford also offers “Mini Mobile Escapes” which are portable and perfect for festivals, fundraisers, office parties, school rewards, youth groups, and events at private residences. These mini games are 15-20 minutes in length allowing a larger number of players to participate in a shorter time frame. For more information or to book a time, visit

Congratulations to Escape Zone Oxford for winning our 2017 Holiday Mini-Tree Contest!

Chamber Misconceptions

January 17, 2018

A lot of the time, there are many questions about the Chamber and what it means to be a member…

What is the Chamber of Commerce? 


The Chamber is fully supported by our membership’s annual member contributions. Members select a Board of Directors to represent them in making decisions and fiduciary responsibilities. These directors are volunteers selected to represent the membership and, just like any small business, make and orchestrate a plan to aid our communities and businesses in growth and development.

Board members are generally recruited by current board members or from a pool of volunteers who go above and beyond on Chamber Committees to help and become involved and support the Chamber organization. These board members are sworn in at each year’s annual meeting, which is celebrating 39 years in 2018 as a consolidated county chamber.


annual meetingTerms, responsibilities and more are spelled out in the Chamber’s By-Laws, and each year, the board reviews these by-laws and strategic plan set to fulfill the Chamber Mission to make sure the organization is still on track and serving the community to the best of its ability.


These goals and strategies include networking events, small business and workshops geared toward human resources, community events, visitor activities, and more. At these events, the Chamber and Visitors Center partners with other organizations to benefit the community by bringing visitors or to meet the needs of our businesses and community.

It may sometimes go unnoticed that the Chamber still serves as the area’s #1 resource of information. Daily, we give refers to businesses, offer directions, provide phone numbers and more information to callers, guests, representing businesses or as individuals. We are not a part of area government. We are a non-profit, here to serve.

boardAny business is welcome to join us and support our  efforts in continuing to make our region better and better. Together everyone achieves more, and with our members of all business sizes and industries, including individual contributors, we’re making Calhoun County’s region a dynamic place to work, visit and live!

IMG_3900The Chamber & Visitors Center operates 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.

Events in the community create a dynamic atmosphere, great for families and great for business. A lively community is a big draw for businesses and industries, and the Chamber sees the value of this benefit to the economy and possible development recruitment tool.

DSCN8357As a visitors center, we hope these events book overnight stays with vendors, visitors and event participants, as well as bring those same people to restaurants, gas stations and retail businesses. This local spending added to the spending of residents produces tax revenue to benefit our communities’ schools, public safety, and more!

These events also create a buzz about our region, whether it be by word of mouth, shared social media content, news story, or other outlet, showcasing what our community has to offer and bringing visitors back, hopefully time and time again.

DSC03747Chamber networking events are created to generate a sense of community. We know, generally, people do business with people they know, so these events shine a spotlight on our businesses and their services, connecting our members to customers. Once a relationship is built, these customers know who they can and will turn to in an emergency.

The Chamber knows strong businesses build strong communities, which build more strong businesses, add value to the community and enhance the quality of life for all.

Passing the Gavel

January 4, 2018

annualAt the Annual Meeting, each year, we celebrate the many successes of the past year and preview our exciting plan of action for the coming year, as we swear in the new Board of Directors and announce the Chairman’s Cup Recipient and Ambassador of the Year.

Join us for the Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 25 11:30 A.M. –1:00 P.M. at the Oxford Civic Center, located at 401 McCullars Lane, in Oxford. Call 256-237-3536 to RSVP, $25 to attend. Pre-registration is required.

DSC02728Ambassador of the Year

Ambassadors are volunteers who act as representatives of the Chamber, always working to enhance member relations. Through their active role and participation in ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and events, the Chamber is able to better serve our membership. Some Ambassadors go above and beyond what is expected, well representing their business and the Chamber in the community.

DSC02726Brenda Dozier Hollis Chairman’s Cup

Each Year, the Brenda Dozier Hollis Chairman’s Cup is awarded to recipients for their efforts, contributions and dedication to the Chamber and our communities. Brenda was dedicated to this Chamber and served as an advocate for getting new leaders and younger people involved with the Chamber.



Mr. Gregory J. Barker, also known as Greg, is currently the Executive Vice President for Customer Services at Alabama Power Company. Previously, Mr. Barker served as Senior Vice President for Marketing and Economic Development at Alabama Power Company and served as its Senior Vice President of Business Development and Customer Support. He has been professionally involved with economic development for twenty nine years and has served as president and a board member for the Economic Development Association of Alabama.

Home for the Holidays

December 21, 2017

wreathT’was the day before Christmas when all through Calhoun County, local shops were selling; local families serving.

The displays were all done in their windows with care, with customers filling the stores everywhere.

The workers were busy, with no time for bed, while visions of happy children danced in their heads.

The streets filled with lights, the halls all decked, it’s the perfect setting for every list checked.

When out on the streets there arose such a clatter, we sprang from our homes to see what was the matter.

reindeerAway to town, we flew like a flash, seeming to be in a mad dash.

The moon beaming with a bright, beautiful glow lit the path for us below.

When what to our wondering eyes should appear, our community was thriving and full of holiday cheer.

With shop owners, so lively and quick, we knew they could help pick from the wish lists the family shared, finding an item to show we cared.

New purses, new jewelry, new boots and wrapped boxes, including Pixels, game boards and apple watches!

ornamentsTo the top of the list! To each and every store, shopping is sometimes quite a chore!

Sometimes it takes a moment to learn when we should first to our neighbors turn.

Shopping local, everyone flew, with car loads of gifts and groceries too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard them say, “Sales for each and every day. The countdown for Christmas is on. Get these deals before they’re gone.”

My neighbors, my family, my friends benefit when my money is locally spent.

treeA bundle of deals from clothes to toys purchased for the good girls and boys.

Money raised for our schools and emergency agency, funding for teams, events and charity, are often gifts from local merchants, thanks to even the smallest purchase.

Imagine if we spent all our money here. Our local needs might disappear. Jobs and communities would grow, our streets busy and aglow.

While we are often drawn to the lowest price, we over look what’s here and nice! If we thought and dream of possibility, we’d see better parks for families!

gift-box-in-hand-flat-icon-01-We spoke not a word, but went straight to work, planning and promoting “Shop Local First,” seeing what could and should be as we gather around our Christmas tree.

I beg of you, I ask, I plead, think local for what you need. Keep our communities strong, and shop local all year long!

Happy Holidays!