calhoun-county-chamber-of-commerce-2Does your business have questions about insurance?

From “Why should my business have a “buy-sell” agreement in writing and why should it be funded?” to “What package of employee benefits should I consider for my company?” these questions will be answered on Wednesday, February 1, from 8:30 to 10:00 A.M. at the Chamber of Commerce.

Have you ever asked “how do I know which quote is best for my business?” or “what kind of insurance do I need to get started?” This event is free, but pre-registration is requested. Call (256)237-3536 to register.

dsc01970The Small Business Committee is hosting a series of workshops designed to build up our small businesses and connect them with resources in the community, including SCORE, SBDC, Main Street Programs and EARPDC. The Chamber’s Small Business Committee works with the mission “to promote the growth, success and recognition of small businesses by promoting training, networking opportunities, and engaging public awareness.”

*Get Involved

If you see a committee or event you’d like to attend or would like more information, call (256)237-3536 to chat with Chamber Staff about how you can get involved.

Make the Most of Your Chamber Investment this Year
1. Stay Informed
informThe Chamber strives to keep our members and partners up-to-date. Stay in the loop by subscribing to our email newsletters, follow us on social media, sign up for text alerts, download our “Calhoun2Go” App, read our Work Week insert in The Anniston Star and browse our website for current information. Check out http://www.CalhounChamber.com for links and more information.
2. Participate
participateWhile there are ways to take advantage of membership without attending event, connect, engage and prosper by marking your calendars with programs, events and committee meetings, reaping the benefits of active member participation. Get social!
3. Gain Exposure
exposureMarket your business through Chamber resources. Target your market by sponsoring Chamber events and programs. Update your business listing online and for print, verifying the categories, representatives and contact information are correct for potential customers can reach out to you. You can also add hot deals, events, job postings and more through our online member information center.
4. Save
member-savingsThe Chamber has many affinity programs, offering savings on products and services exclusive to Chamber Members. From the Free Office Depot Chamber Advantage Program to Google Maps, do not miss this exclusive member opportunities!
5. Grow
growThe Chamber hosts many committees, who are forward thinking and supportive of our diverse business community. These committees strive to offer workshops and programs, keeping our members up-to-speed on the latest trends, legislation and information, ensuring long-term economic success for our region.

Now accepting Nominations!

January 13, 2017

It’s that time! If you’d like to recognize a Young Entrepreneur, Small Business or Non-Profit for their work and commitment to the community, complete a Nomination Form by Friday, February 3.


Previous Business Award Winners include:

2004 MedResource

2005 Altex Packaging

2006 ERA King Real Estate

2007 Animal Medical Center

2008 19th Hole Sports Grille at Cane Creek (now Heroes)

2009 Emerging: NobleBank & Trust

  • Sustaining: SPAR, Inc.

2010 Emerging: Wig’s Wheels

  • Sustaining: Miller Funeral Home & Crematory

2011 Emerging: WideNet Consulting

  • Sustaining: AOD Federal Credit Union

2012 Emerging: Smoke-N-Hot BBQ, Inc.

  • Sustaining: Morris Building Constructors

2013       Emerging: Christian Corner Meats

  • Sustaining: Oxford Lumber

2014       Emerging: Cheaha Cheer and Tumble

  • Sustaining: Piedmont Outdoor

2015       Emerging: Cheaha Women’s Health & Wellness

  • Sustaining: Signature In-Home Care

2016       Emerging: Calhoun Pickers

  • Sustaining: The Surgery Center

 

2016 Innovative Small Business of the Year: Pediatrics Plus

2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Leah Sparks of Southern Girl Coffee

2016 Non-Profit of the Year: YMCA of Calhoun County

  • Lifetime Achievement:
  • King Motor Company
  • Wakefield’s/Martin’s
  • Couch’s Jewelers
  • F&M Bank
  • Webb Concrete & Building Materials
  • Acker Electric, ERA King Real Estate
  • L. Brown Funeral Home

 

  • The Larry K. Sylvester Small Business Advocates are:
  • 2010 Tom Coleman, SCORE
  • 2011 Robbie Medders, SBDC
  • 2012 Donna Fathke, East Alabama Regional Planning & Development
  • 2013 John Wheeler, ACES Program
  • 2014: Anniston Army Depot
  • 2015: Center for Domestic Preparedness
  • 2016: Northeast Alabama Entrepreneurial System

Here’s a selection of the many achievements the Chamber & Visitors Center made in 2016!

Program Development 

  • program-lccHosted Eastman Worlds of Work, attended by nearly 2,000 students, 72 career presenters, and over 350 volunteers
  • Served as presenter at Piedmont Advantage Plus, with 80 members of the senior class
  • Conducted Job Shadowing Day with Students from Jacksonville and Piedmont School Systems
  • Get Linked networking event was held at JSU
  • Held Superintendent Roundtable with all 5 public school systems represented
  • Spring LCC Leadership Lunch had 60 alumni and current class members
  • Graduation for 31 YLCC class members was held at the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
  • Graduation exercises were held for the 24 members of the LCC Class of 2016
  • Leadership Calhoun County kicked off the class of 2017 with 25 class members.
  • CEOs in the Classroom kicked off with Oxford City Schools.
  • LCC hosted a Fall Leadership Connection on  September 29, with guest speaker Colonel Martine S. Kidd, Commander of the Anniston Army Depot at the Hotel Finial.

Public Affairs 

  • public-affairs-8-9-forum2016 Legislative agendas were created for both State and Federal levels.
  • Re-established Military &Securities Committee with tours of Pelham Range and Anniston Army Depot
  • On March 17 Members of the Public Affairs committee rode the bus to Montgomery with the LCC
  • Hosted Mayors Roundtables quarterly
  • Sponsored July Business After Hours at the National Guard Readiness Center at McClellan
  • Partnered with the Anniston Star on Political Forums in each municipality for August Elections
  • Attended the Anniston Army Depot 75th Anniversary Celebration
  • Hosted the presentation by the JSU Center for Economic Development on Economic Impact of Military with 40 in attendance
  • Met with Congressman Rogers to deliver a briefing from the Military and Security Affairs Organizations.
  • Newly Elected Officials reception was on November 15th with Business After Hours.
  • Committee members met with Mark Colson, Senior VP for Governmental Affairs & Chief of Staff at the Business Council of Alabama.

Organizational Development

  • org-dev-member-appreciateAwarded Accredited Alabama Chamber of Commerce distinction
  • An Ambassador Facebook Group was developed.
  • Continued Member Orientation with 75 members attending.
  • Partnered with Chamber Members to present 36 of the monthly networking events: Business & Biscuits, Lunch & Leads, and Business After Hours.
  • Introduced the Chamber Membership to the Office Depot (OfficeMax) National Chamber Affinity Program.
  • Partnered with R.L. Moore Photography for new Affinity program with Google Maps
  • Celebrated 54 Ribbon Cuttings and 3 Ground Breakings
  • Established Every Member Counts Campaign with 315 calls made.
  • Held a Chat with the Chamber on April 13 in Piedmont.
  • Made more than 206 retention visits to members with upcoming renewals
  • Began recognition of Longevity Members at monthly board meetings
  • The Chamber’s Annual Member Appreciation Day was held on October 7
  • The Chamber currently has 1086 members.
  • There are 136 new members for 2016.
  • 84% retention rate.

Tourism

  • tourism-hotels1400 visitor informational bags were distributed.
  • Hotel / Motel Meeting heard from speakers Greg Seitz, speaking on JSU athletics and Greg Bagley, speaking on Choccolocco Park
  • Participated with the Calhoun County Fair which was attended by approximately 5,000 over 5 days
  • Attended Tourism Workshop conducted by State of Alabama Tourism Department
  • New tourism website launched on May 31st, http://www.VisitCalhounCounty.com.
  • Participated with Centennial Memorial Wall Park Committee for the unveiling of the State Law Enforcement Fallen Officer Wall
  • Held Familiarization tours for front-line staff &  Cleburne County Welcome Center Staff
  • Prepared tourism materials for 61 baseball teams of the Dixie Youth State Tournament
  • Hosted National Association of Railroad Passengers intern
  • For Restaurant Week, 10 Restaurants registered
  • Attended the Ribbon Cutting for Choccolocco Park on October 16
  • Attended Freedom Riders Public Meeting to present statement of support
  • Held Hotel/Motel Meeting at Choccolocco Park on November 15, with 11 in attendance.
  • Held Ladiga Trail Meeting on November 16, with 12 in attendance.
  • Attended the Cleburne I-20 Welcome Center Holiday Open House with 4 area hoteliers

Public Relations

  • pr-socialThe Visit Calhoun County Facebook Page now has 1164 likes.
  • com had more than 9,228 visitors, with 84% being new visitors
  • The Visit Calhoun County blog has generated more than 4,861 page views.
  • @VisitCalhounCo has 417 followers on Twitter.
  • @VisitCalhounCo has 231 followers on Instagram
  • The Chamber Facebook page has 3696 likes/Followers.
  • com had more than 42,654 visitors, with 58,363 directory searches of our online membership directory.
  • With 37 active job postings, we garnered 3,210 views.
  • Our Calhounchamber.com event calendar received more than 499,991 searches.
  • Our 47 Hot Deals received 2,848 views.
  • The Chamber’s Twitter, @CalhounChamber, has 1,098 followers
  • The Chamber’s Blog garnered 1,254 views.
  • The Chamber’s E-Newsletter has a 27% open rate
  • The Chamber’s App, Calhoun2Go, has 166 users.

Business Development   

  • bus-dev-expoNon-Dues revenue increased by 34%
  • The 2016 Economic Forum presented by the Center for Economic Development was held at Jacksonville State University Merrill Hall with 72 in attendance.
  • Co-Sponsored with JSU, the SBDC and EMA, “Keeping Your Business Safe: A workshop on Business Continuity, Cybersecurity and Disaster Planning” on March 4
  • January 27, more than 250 Chamber Members joined us for the 37th Annual Meeting.
  • Kicked off a Facebook Group, HYPE (Harnessing Young Professional Energies), to share opportunities and events for YPs
  • The 2016 Night of Laughter & Business Awards was a sell-out crowd with 560 in attendance
  • On June 22nd, 20 Chamber members attended the Multigenerational Workforce SummitSponsored by AUSA (Association of the United States Army) & BAE Systems.
  • Hosted Social Media Boot Camp with 25 in attendance
  • Hosted a Business Diversity Round-table, with 10 in attendance
  • The Chamber’s Salute to Industry Scavenger Hunt on September 9 had 11 teams participate.
  • The Chamber’s Salute to Industry Golf Outing on September 15 had more than 120 golfers
  • More than 1500 attended the 32nd Annual Business EXPO on October 18, with first Wine Pull and Meet Mentors events.
  • 10 Small Businesses participated in the Chamber’s Shop Small Saturday
  • Business Builder Series on Accounting for Small Business was held on November 11
  • 9 members attended the first Spritz and Splash Holiday Paint Party on December 5.
  • The Mini Christmas Tree Contest had 21 participants. The contest brought in a total of 865 canned goods.

With predecessors dating back to 1910 and since 1978, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, 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 success of the Chamber has thrived on members shaping Calhoun County’s business environment and making the area an exceptional place to live and work.

At 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.

annual-meeting-webSave the Date for the

38th Annual Meeting

Thursday, February 2,

12:00 (Noon)

Oxford Civic Center

401 McCullars Lane, Oxford

Call 256-237-3536 to RSVP.

$25 to attend.

Pre-registration is required.

 

involved-ambassadorsAmbassador 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. Ambassadors of the Year go above and beyond what is expected, well representing their business and the Chamber in the community.

networkBrenda 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.

staff_magee_julieGuest Speaker: Julie P. Magee, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue

Governor Robert Bentley appointed Julie Prendergast Magee, former vice-president of the Mobile-based InsTrust Insurance Group, to the post of State Revenue Commissioner, effective January 18, 2011. Mrs. Magee’s career, spanning over 20 years in the business community, largely focused on competitive sales and market expansion in the insurance industry. As state revenue commissioner, Commissioner Magee is responsible for the operation and management of the Alabama Department of Revenue.  A resident of Mobile, Alabama, Mrs. Magee received a B.A. degree from the University of South Alabama in 1991. Mrs. Magee is married to Don Magee, and they have one daughter, Meredith.

 Give the Gift that Keeps Giving

You can help sponsor a small business or home-based business owner on their path to success with a membership to the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsorships are available as a 1 year or 2 year membership gift to small business owners, and we’ll send you a certificate to present to the business owner.

For more information, call our Membership Director, Kim Boyd, (256) 237-3536 or email kimb@calhounchamber.com.

Mission Possible

December 22, 2016

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch

gov-affairsThe Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Mission 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. We represent seven municipalities, businesses and industries of all sizes, and viewpoints from every position on the political spectrum. The Chamber, its board, staff and members work to continuously promote the Calhoun County area and truly represent “The Voice of Business.” Our focus areas for 2017 are:

Advocacy

  • Create Legislative Agenda with Report Card for Elected Officials
  • Organize Washington Fly-Insfam-tour
  • Host Mayors’ Roundtable and Legislative Updates with Officials
  • Build Grassroots Network for legislative issues
  • Educate and Raise Awareness of public affairs’ programs


Marketing/Tourism

  • Target and Segment Familiarization Tours
  • Develop County Wide Marketing Plan
  • Build Awareness of Visitors’ Center and Brandinvolved-military-3
  • Elevate Community Visibility Online
  • Capture Visitor and Newcomer Information and Follow Up


Military Affairs

  • Grow Military/Securities Affairs Committee to more than 100
  • Educate Chamber/Community through Tours and Events
  • Recruit/Partner with Active Community Military Members
  • Build Military Affairs Fundinged-day
  • Establish, promote and connect the military with the community


Education/Workforce Development

  • Create Partnerships for Workforce Readiness with Business, Schools and Industries
  • Leverage JSU & GSCC
  • Educate Area Students of Career Choices
  • Promote Internships and Mentor Programs
  • Connect Educators with Area Businesses to Target Workforce Needs

member-orientation-002Financial Stability

  • Continue to Pay Off Building Debt
  • Research Affinity Programs
  • Educate Membership of Building Contribution Fund
  • Educate Membership of Sponsorship opportunities to create additional non-dues revenue


Member Engagement

  • networkingDevelop Member Mentor Program
  • Create Member Pledge, including involvement opportunities
  • Form Segmented Focus Groups
  • Distribute Membership Fact Sheet
  • Educate Membership of Member Information Center

 

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. For more information, make plans to join us for member orientation, December 28.

Not a member?

Online application forms are available at http://www.CalhounChamber.com.

For more information about joining this dynamic organization, please contact Kim Boyd, Membership Director, at 256.237.3536 or kimb@calhounchamber.com.

Chamber Membership 101

December 16, 2016

connectConnect

It’s about people. It’s about ideas. It’s about influence, the Power of Connection. Your business thrives on it. Your future depends on it. Connect with success at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, your link to influential people, innovative ideas and exclusive opportunities. Chamber members are as diverse as the county itself. They represent businesses and industries of all sizes, and viewpoints from every position on the political spectrum.

Together, we’re shaping Calhoun County’s dynamic business environment and making the area an exceptional place to live and work. Join us as a member and make new connections.

engageEngage

People do business with people they know. The Chamber offers opportunities to meet other members at more than 40 events each year. Exchange business cards, talk with potential customers and vendors, and build relationships to help you grow your business.

1st Thursday of each Month: Business & Biscuits

2nd Wednesday of each Month: Lunch & Leads

3rd Tuesday of each month: Business After Hours

February 2nd: Annual Meeting

February 24th: Economic Forum

Each May: Small Business Month & Business Awards

Each September: Salute to Industry Month, Golf Outing and other events

Each October: Business to Business EXPO & Member Appreciation Day

Prosper

dsc00774All new business members are eligible for an advertising package which includes discounted offers from several of our member businesses. Take advantage of special discounts and offer discounts for your business through Member-to-Member Deals and Hot Deals.

All members are listed in the Chamber’s printed directory, our on-line directory and smartphone app. For increased visibility, members can take advantage of multiple promotional opportunities, including sponsoring annual events, discounted ads in Chamber publications, and the Chamber Partners Program.

The Chamber also partners to offer educational webinars and seminars for member business owners, managers, and employees.

How to join?

Online application forms are available at http://www.CalhounChamber.com.

For more information about joining this dynamic organization, please contact Kim Boyd, Membership Director, at 256.237.3536 or kimb@calhounchamber.com.

shop

T’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

shop-2When out on the streets there arose such a clatter, we sprang from our homes to see what was the matter.

Away 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 x-Boxes! Onto ipads, hover boards and apple watches!

img_2581To 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.

happy-holidaysA 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. The 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 dreamt of possibility, we’d see better parks for families!

happy-holidays-chamberWe spoke not a word, but went straight to work, planning and promoting “Shop Local First,” seeing what could and would 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 to all and to all Shop Local!

Let us tag along as #UShopLocal this holiday season!

Eat! Stay! Play!   

December 2, 2016

Do you think you know everything there is to know about Calhoun County? Have you freedomexplored all of the world-class attractions, restaurants & shops and restaurants right here in your own backyard? Calhoun County has low cost family fun, cool adventures, historic explorations, cultural entertainment, comfortable lodging, unique dining & dynamic shopping districts. Be a tourist in your own county this Holiday Season!

  • Explore downtown Anniston, Oxford & Jacksonville to experience the shops, sights and charm! #UShopLocal
  • Visit the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and take part in the practice shooting at the Marksmanship Center air gun ranges.
  • Take a walking tour of the Freedom Rider’s Civil Rights Heritage Trail and find out the major role Calhoun County played during the Civil Rights movement!
  • mummiesInto mountain biking? Try your wheels out at Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail!
  • Explore the highest point in Alabama at the Cheaha State Park. Overlook Calhoun County and its entire splendor.
  • Visit our very own world-renowned museums: Anniston Museum of Natural History and The Berman Museum of World History where you can learn about natural and world history!
  • Explore the Centennial Memorial Park, which serves as the official memorial for fallen Alabama soldiers, firefighters and law enforcement officers.

For a full list of attractions and things to do, visit www.VisitCalhounCounty.com!

mtb-5So You Think You Know Calhoun County?

Do you think you know everything there is to know about Calhoun County’s one-of-a kind tourist attractions? Take the quiz below and find out just how remarkable a staycation in Calhoun County could be!

  • Its original function was serving the railroad, but now no motorized vehicles are allowed on this 33 mile stretch.
  • Once a very productive apple orchard that produced 20,000 gallons of apple cider each year, this course boasts 6,946 yards.
  • Built in the 1800s, this holy place has a majestic twelve foot altar of white Carrara marble shipped from Italy and England and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Answers:

  • Chief Ladiga Trail
  • Cider Ridge Golf Club
  • Michaels & All Angels

Would you like more information to help plan your staycation or to simply explore Calhoun County? Visit The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center and Request your FREE Visitor’s Guide!

alexandersChamber Member Specials for Shop Small Saturday!

Alexanders at Noble Shops

1118 Noble Street, Anniston

25% off entire purchase

 

calhoun-pickersCalhoun Pickers

801 Wilmer Avenue, Anniston

10% off your entire purchase

 

downingsDowning and Sons

1030 Gurnee Avenue, Anniston

20% off of fabric

 

family-value-videoFamily Value Video

1013 Snow Streetm Suite F, Oxford

Half price Facebook Video for Business

 

furnitureFurniture Outlet

1006 Noble Street, Anniston

10% off anything in the Store

 

dsc01821Music Box

4 Public Square W, Jacksonville

$10 off any new member private lesson

 

nunnallys-galleryNunnally’s Noble Frame & Gallery

1014 Noble Street, Anniston

10-50% off entire store (some exceptions)

 

Smallcakes Cupcakery

100 Ali Way, Oxford

smallcakesBuy 3 cupcakes and get one free

 

Tyson Fine Wines & Things

3326 Henry Road., Anniston

dscn282425-50% off select wines

 

Wig’s Wheels

wigs1229 Noble Street, Anniston

10% off

 

This holiday season, use hashtag #UShopLocal to share your participation with friends and family on social media. Thank You for making a difference!