May 23, 2007 Edition

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Much Chamber work
is behind the scenes

Kathy Bradley
Guest Writer

(Note: Kathy Bradley is the administrative assistant at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.)

When I was asked to write this article I wondered what else I could say that hasn't been said already. Working for the Chamber is interesting to me. I've met many people within the county who I had not met before.

Greeting visitors is also enjoyable, and I receive lots of questions on the phone ~ some I can answer and some I can't. The Chamber office also offers faxing and copying for a minimal cost for the communities. We have phone books, maps and other information available about the county, as well as Amtrak schedules and brochures.

Working for the Chamber I have come to realize that recruiting businesses to our area is not as easy as it seems. You can't just dial 1-800-Manufacturing. When a prospect becomes interested in our area, the pace in the office picks up.

Many times they want to know what we have to offer ~

Sometimes prospects come to our area unannounced. They check out the community to see how it looks and how the community gets along with others. They get the lay of the land, so to speak. Community spirit has a lot to do with prospects considering Lawrence County for a business. Not only do they check us out, but we also check them out as far as their business structure and financial capabilities.

The Chamber of Commerce does not wait for prospects to come to us. Some come from referrals or interest from citizens; some from the media and some from local manufacturers. We are always listening and looking for ways to bring more jobs into our county. It is not an easy task and requires the cities within the county working together. It doesn't matter which city gets a new business in the county. All in all, it brings jobs to people and helps the economy throughout Lawrence County.

I went back and reread the previous articles by Chamber Board Members. The overall theme throughout all of them was unity within our county. Working together we can accomplish great things.

Several events, board meetings and committee meetings are conducted throughout the year. The committees meet to try to effectively make Lawrence County a better place to live. Each of these events or meetings requires a mail out, phone call or e-mail. Trying to get every member of a committee together for a meeting is not an easy task. Everyone's schedule is different.

Quarterly meetings are held to help tie businesses and individuals together in the county. The meetings are designed to have topics and speakers that would be of interest to you or your business throughout the county.

Ribbon cuttings are conducted for new businesses when we are notified. The ribbon cuttings offer promotion for the business in The Times Dispatch and free Chamber membership for the remainder of the year if they wish to join.

The Chamber also makes referrals for businesses within the county. When businesses are a member of the Chamber it gives easy access to the information needed to make a referral.

The Chamber of Commerce is here to help you in any way possible. Many times you may think that the Chamber is sitting still, but we are working behind the scenes to help make Lawrence County a better place to live.

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