#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.

Innovation & Impact

May 5, 2017

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Since 1963, the United States has declared a National Small Business Week to recognize the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. For 14 years, the Chamber has celebrated and honored area small businesses for their contributions to the community at the Business Awards.
This year on May 11, we honor 21 businesses and organizations. The nominees Include: Young Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Niky Van Hatten, Envy Salon
  • Jean & Steven Ellison, The Music Box
  • Jay Grubbs, RA-LIN and Associates, Inc.

Non-Profit of the Year

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

Emerging Small Business of the Year

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

Sustaining Small Business of the Year

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

We will also award a sustaining business for Lifetime Achievement and the Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocate for 2017.
It is estimated that two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year are created by small businesses and that more than half of Americans either own or work for small businesses.
funnyJoin us as we recognize their contributions.
Night of Laughter & Business Awards
Thursday, May 11 –

Dinner 5:30-6:30 P.M. – Program 6:30–7:30 P.M.

At the Anniston City Meeting Center
Tickets: $35 per person may be purchased
at the Chamber, by calling (256)237-3536 or through www.CalhounChamber.com.

Free Member Benefit

April 28, 2017

Psearchingost a job online through the Member Information Center!

1. Log into the Member Login! Visit http://www.chamberlogin.com! Don’t remember your login? Just click forgot or email chelseys@calhounchamber.com to get your information.
2. Once you’ve logged in, click “Job Postings” on the left side of the home screen.
3. Click the blue “Add Job Posting” button.
4. Add details
– Describe the job position
– Assign a category to your job listing
– Select the active dates for the job posting to be listed
5. Click the “Submit for Approval” button.pexels-photo-327538

Your job posting will be approved by Chamber staff and then listed on the Chamber website!

Our Job Search webpage had over 2,000 views in 2016, so use our job posting feature as a benefit for your business today!

Looking for a job? Visit business.calhounchamber.com/jobs/

Member Drive

April 12, 2017

startup-photosD- Development is defined as the process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions. The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce strives  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. From quality of life to new or expanding business, the Chamber works to assist in the marketing, education and growth of our communities.

survey-opinion-research-voting-fill-159353R- Representation is defined as a statement or account made to influence opinion or action. The Chamber serves as the Voice of Business, standing for our communities and businesses at the local, state and federal levels of legislation. The Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee‘s purpose is to represent and be a proactive voice for the members and the o
verall business community with all levels of government in order to improve and sustain a positive business climate.

pexels-photo-260606I- There is no I in TEAM. The Chamber cheer is “together everyone achieves more.” Join the hundreds of businesses and individuals, movers and shakers, to connect, engage and prosper. Through the chamber, your business can connect to other businesses and organizations in the community. Your business can engage in the community, in events, programs and education, and because of all this, your business can prosper and grow.

pexels-photo-327538V- Volunteers help us make the chamber what it is. With more than 1,000 members, the Chamber’s staff of six attempts to keep everyone informed through social media, texts, and more. However, with an army of volunteers, from committees to ambassadors, we’re able to deliver member information, packets, goodies, and a outreach to membership.

E- Established is defined as to introduce and cause to grow and multiply. Dig gardenThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce was established in 1978, when the municipal chambers saw they could achieve more together and merged to form a county wide chamber. This firm foundation was paved by predecessors dating back to 1908, and the Chamber is excited to continue the legacy of propelling our community  into the future.

Join us! 

 

Member Benefits

April 7, 2017

networkOur return on your investment is more than dollar signs. Although the discounts on advertising are helpful, connecting with the resources and members of the Chamber can prove even more helpful.

  1. Referrals
    • As a staff and membership, the member directory is often our first stop for information. Whether the online listing or the printed book, the listing is searchable by name or category.
  2. Seminars
    • pr-socialThe Chamber knows as the #1 source of information, we are constantly seeking learning opportunities for our members. From healthcare to marketing and everything in between, the chamber offers free or low cost events, with fees to basically cover the cost of the breakfast or lunch being served.
  3. Celebrations
    • Ribbon Cuttings and Groundbreakings are a celebration for the Chamber, which is why we promote the event through our newsletters, calendars and social media.
  4. networkingSEO
    • Chamber websites rank very highly with multiple inbound and outbound  links, which is why your presence on our websites is so valuable online.
  5. Free Listings
    • As a member, the opportunity to post jobs, events and deals are FREE!
  6. Members Only Invitations
    • Our networking events are exclusive to our Chamber Membership. Members only receive invitations and chamber mailers with Save the Dates for upcoming special events.
  7. DSC03462The Voice of Business
    • The Chamber is and advocate for the community. With programs like our Public Affairs Committee and Military & Security Affairs Committee monitoring legislation, the Chamber knows what is coming up for a vote, and makes sure our voice is heard locally or at a state and federal level.
  8. Brochures
    • The Chamber lobby is visited by hundreds of visitors and businesses, so if you have information to share, let us know and we’ll find a place for your marketing material to go.
  9. Member Only Resources
    • From sponsorships and publicity to partner program discounts, the perks of being a member gain you visibility and save you dollars. The Chamber is proud to be apart of the Office Depot Chamber Program, with members saving percentages each time they shop. Sponsorship opportunities are exclusive to members only, so if there is something you are passionate about, from small business to education, we’d love to have you participate.
  10. Plug into our Network
    • The Chamber represents businesses of every size and industry, and we also serve as the visitors center for the county. Connect with hundreds of members at events. Engage in committees and programs, and Prosper when you join as a member of the Chamber.

The Chamber’s tagline is the “Voice of Business,” representing the voice our membership has in local, state and federal government, taking on even the toughest of issues. The Chamber’s Public Affairs Committee’s purpose is to represent and be 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.

DSC03462Each year, this committee, along with the Board of Directors and Military & Security Affairs Committee, evaluates the Legislative Agendas for state and federal levels, updating with new issues or remaining relevant to legislation passed or pending.

The Public Affairs Committee’s 2017 State Legislative Agenda includes Education and Workforce Preparedness, Economic Development and Infrastructure, Small Business, and Healthcare.

Education/Workplace Preparedness

The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce supports the adoption of policies and processes that ensure sound, sustainable funding for public education and policies that promote access to quality education at all levels, strengthening public awareness and understanding of, and encouraging, educational investment.  Such is essential to ensure long term personal income growth and economic opportunity for all Alabamians.

The Chamber encourages its members to provide financial support for business education and to actively participate in regional workforce councils, workforce investment boards and technical education advisory boards.  In doing so, we will ensure that such bodies are responsive to the training needs of local employers.

The Chamber advocates for 100% funding of Pre-k classes in Calhoun County, encourages Summer Literacy Programs, supports creative methods for schools to recruit Math Teachers, and continues to advocate for students-centered policies that expand parental options for the education of all children in Calhoun County.

DSC03405Economic Development/Infrastructure

The Chamber also advocates for an increase in Alabama’s investment in local transportation infrastructure to sustain and promote economic growth, job creation, quality of life, and public safety.

The Chamber also supports the authorization and extension of proven economic development incentives and tax credits, including the Historic Tax Credit, the New Markets Tax Credits, and the Small Business Investment Company Tax Credit.

Small Business

The Chamber promotes Workforce and Business Training sessions as requested by the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee.

Healthcare

The Chamber supports providing adequate Healthcare funding necessary to support Calhoun County Hospitals and the Healthcare Industry.

At the Federal Level, the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda includes Anniston Army Depot, the Center for Domestic Preparedness, the Alabama Army National Guard, the Federal Courthouse and Healthcare. The Chamber also includes Anniston Army Depot, the Center for Domestic Preparedness and the Alabama Army National Guard in the Military and Security Affairs Committee.

gov-affairsAnniston Army Depot

The Chamber supports the Depot’s mission of “Providing superior industrial expertise, products, and services to support America’s Warfighters, Allies and commercial customers.” The Chamber also supports the Depot’s assignment as the Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence (CITE) by the Secretary of the Army for Combat Vehicles (wheeled and tracked) (except Bradley) including Assault Bridging, Artillery, Stryker Family of Vehicles, Small Caliber Weapons and Locomotive and large generators.

The Chamber will work with Congressional Representatives and the Depot to ensure the current and ensuing fiscal year’s workload is at or above levels to maintain permanent and a contingent of temporary employees. The Chamber will also provide assistance to increase the Depots future workload through other military services and Foreign Military Sales work.

The Chamber will work to ensure the Department of Defense and the Army assigns the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) (replacement for the M113 Personnel Carrier) to the Depot as the “Depot Source of Repair.” The Chamber will support the Depot and local Defense Contractors by encouraging and facilitating Public/Private Partnerships and work with Congressional Representatives on the movement of the Depot Generation and Rail Repair facility from Hill Air Force Base to the Depot.


Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP)

The Chamber recognizes the CDP as an essential training organization under the Department of Homeland Security with significant growth potential and positive economic impact for the county. Therefore, the Chamber will work to ensure the CDP’s budget never falls below $65 million and to grow the CDP via Economy Act Agreements with the Center for Disease Control, the VA and other organizations.

The Chamber supports increased training at the CDP and additional funding to grow the capabilities necessary. The Chamber will assist partnering with the FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center-currently located in GA) to consolidate federal related training at the FLETC and local, state and foreign training at the CDP.

The Chamber will also encourage Congressional Representatives to authorize the CDP to operate under a Working Capital Fund accounting system as opposed to an annual appropriation.

DSC00281Alabama Army National Guard

The Chamber will work with 167th Theater Sustainment Command, the McClellan Army National Guard Training Center and the State to ensure the Army National Guard’s mission is sustained and grows.

Healthcare

The Chamber supports efforts to reach an equitable resolution on the Medicare Wage Index Issue so that hospitals in the regions will be fairly reimbursed for the services provided to the Medicare population.  The current wage index calculation penalizes Alabama hospitals, which are already some of the most efficient in the country in terms of costs, by paying hospitals in other states almost double what is paid in Alabama for the same care.

Federal Courthouse

The Chamber also supports the proposal and funding to replace or update the Federal Courthouse in Anniston.

We advocate for business, our members and our community from D.C. to Montgomery. Advocating includes meetings and updates in the community and taking trips to the federal and state capitols. One of those trips includes Leadership Calhoun County’s annual trip to the state capitol in Montgomery, and this year, the Public Affairs committee accompanied the class to provide insight and introductions to elected officials, as well as background information on pending issues affecting our communities directly.msac