• Goal: Increase value for members

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    February 07, 2020

    I must begin by saying, “I love Thomson”. Anything good about me came as a result of having two excellent parents and my being raised in Thomson. Additionally, anything I have achieved in life has come as a result of the excellent public school education I received here in McDuffie County. I am thrilled for the opportunity to give back to the community I love so deeply through the position of Chairman and through the Chamber. Our Chamber’s mission is “to promote business prosperity and a healthy community by providing information, services, and advocacy for our members” Bearing that in mind, our primary goal for this year is to increase the value of each Chamber member’s membership. We know that when business owners hand over their money to us in the form of dues, sponsorships, or event tickets that we are then charged with making sure that investment is worthwhile; we take that charge seriously. There are a number of ways we have planned to increase membership value this year. First, we are committed to using our Government Affairs committee to grow opportunities for our organization to advocate to our local, state, and federal legislators on behalf of our members. In particular, look for this committee to strongly focus this year on representing the Chamber and its membership in public forums and educating chamber members about relevant issues and encouraging them to share their support or opposition with elected officials. With that being said, we are looking to increase participation in this committee. It meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Chamber office at 2:00 PM.  Please consider getting involved with this committee. In order to grow it effectively, we need diverse and experienced voices involved.

    Next, we are excited about all of the progress that has been made in our community as a result of our efforts to improve our local workforce. If you pay attention to any news outlet for any amount of time, you will know that the state of the workforce is a global issue, and that is no different locally. I have spent time in the last year examining the practices of other Chambers and school systems, and I believe that the partnership between our Chamber and our school system is unmatched in the state as evidenced by my sitting in this current position. We have a Chamber executive, school superintendent, and high school principal who are forward thinking enough to recognize how beneficial a school employee in this position can be on the workforce front. We are proud that our Chamber has become a conduit between the school system and the business community and has been able to help each entity make strides in reaching their goals. While we will continue to focus heavily on developing and assisting in programming which will increase career opportunities for our local students, we will also be expanding our horizons to facilitate programs which address our local unemployed and underemployed adult populations. Again, this is an area which we wish to ask for your assistance and would like to encourage your participation. This committee meets in the Archway Office on the last Monday of each month at 3:30 PM. Because this issue is a work group issue for the UGA Archway Partnership as well, the committee meetings are open to the public.  
     
    Our final primary goal for the year is to increase programming which focuses on growing our local shopping and spending capacity. It was important to our Board of Directors that we begin creating opportunities for our local merchants to share their needs with us and to develop ways to help them reach their goals. We received a great deal of excellent feedback at our recent Shop Small Town Hall event, and we hope to begin making a move on that feedback very soon. A strong small business and retail sector increases the quality of life in McDuffie County, and that is of the utmost importance to the Chamber. I think the old adage is true: “nothing worth having comes easily”. Thomson and McDuffie County, I believe, have great potential and capacity for growth. In order for that to happen, however, we have to do work. Sitting around talking about what could or should be done will not achieve that growth or help us reach our potential. Our staff, Board of Directors, and Chamber Ambassadors are ready to do that work. Please know that you can count on the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce to improve the quality of life and business in McDuffie County in 2020.  

    Contact: Ashley Morey, Chamber Board of Directors Chair
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