Our City: Chamber adds value to all areas of community
by Tom Rowland
Sep 19, 2013 | 953 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the past few weeks, the Cleveland Daily Banner has been featuring local business leaders who are sharing their individual perspective on the benefits of our Chamber of Commerce.

While most communities have a Chamber of Commerce, we are fortunate in Cleveland, Charleston and Bradley County to have an aggressive Chamber that is the envy of others.

Our Bradley/Cleveland Chamber of Chamber is run by a board of directors made up of a cross-section of business and professional members of the community. There are several divisions consisting of even more citizens including economic development, Convention and Visitors Bureau, public affairs, membership and others.

Working alongside our Chamber through the years, I know firsthand the role it has played in helping our city and county governments as we pursued new jobs, new businesses, new industries, new services and incentives for existing companies and more. In the past five years, they have brought more than $2.5 billion of industry into our community and added more than 1,600 jobs, plus retaining over 4,400 jobs through their ongoing efforts with new and existing industries.

Our Industrial Development Board, along with both the city and county mayors, private citizens and state legislators have worked hand-in-hand with state government to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together for our industrial growth these past few years. The results have been numerous new industries, businesses and more for the future. It has definitely been a team effort and though no one organization can take full credit, I must say the Chamber of Commerce is our common thread to weave us all together and keep the wheels turning efficiently and effectively.

The Chamber’s marketing efforts continue to strengthen and improve our visibility both nationally and internationally. They participate in trade shows and events to educate themselves on economic and industrial trends that benefit us in our quest to attract new business and industry. They also position our community for tourism, generating millions of dollars each year through the Convention and Visitors Bureau. In doing this, it equates to more customers for our businesses and lower taxes for all of us.

As I take part in groundbreaking and ribbon cuttings for new businesses, I see more and more the benefits of our active Chamber. Each and every job brought in by the Chamber is a potential customer for your business, no matter how large or how small. The small investment of membership can mean the level of success for any business. I believe that. I have seen it in action over and over again.

In addition, the Chamber promotes educational endeavors, the arts and leadership training for youth, to name only a few of its many services.

The Chamber adds value to any business serving as our “front door to the community.” As a member, the Chamber readily promotes you when they respond to the many inquiries they receive each week from potential newcomers, businesses and others.

In coming weeks, our local Chamber is on a quest to increase its membership and raise dollars needed to continue the programs they have in place. If you or your business get a call, answer with an enthusiastic “yes” to helping keep the wheels in motion for a bright, bright future for our community. And when you join the Chamber, get involved. Networking with other members is yet another benefit and could mean lasting friendships and new businesses for you in the long run. Invest in the Chamber and you’ll be investing in your business future and your community’s progress.