Greene County Chamber of Commerce: Something for Everyone

gccocBy Heather Holtschlag

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce has something for everyone.  Literally.

This is evidenced by its diverse membership that includes individuals and businesses spanning across many industries, including attorneys, accounting firms, banks and financial institutions, and building contractors to retail shops, lodging facilities, golf resorts, adult lifestyle communities, doctors, schools, real estate professionals and restaurants, marketing firms and salons.

“The Chamber is proud to refer customers to all of them,” said Becky Cronic, president of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce.  “Businesses and individuals are encouraged to become members of the Chamber so that they can get connected in the community.  We also host networking opportunities two to three times a month and serve as one of the best ways to become acquainted with other members.”

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce has served businesses and individuals in Greene County since 1969 and began under volunteer leadership and little funding.  “Over the years, the Chamber developed into a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors,” Cronic explained.  “The Chamber is funded by membership dues, county and city support and fundraisers, and employs a president, marketing and development assistant and receptionist.”

The Chamber also continues to use volunteers to serve on various committees, help with fundraisers and serve as Ambassadors.

According to Cronic, the mission of the Chamber is to enhance the quality of life in Greene County by promoting, strengthening and further developing a diverse business community.  Membership currently stands at 310 members, who offer continued support throughout the year, represent businesses from counties including Greene, Morgan, Putnam, Clarke, Baldwin, Rockdale and Wilkes County.

The Chamber also boasts a connection with departments within the county and the Small Business Development Center in Athens, Georgia, where a business may consult with those who may have questions on starting a business or expanding a current one.

Though the Chamber also once oversaw the areas of tourism and economic development, those roles are now filled by individual directors, thanks to a dramatic increase in growth that took place around 2003 and 2004.

“Now the Chamber, Tourism and Economic Development directors are all housed in the same building, and we all work together to further build relationships and strengthen our community,” Cronic said.

Lake Oconee Yard Sale ribbon cutting

The Chamber Board of Directors meets monthly, and all of its members have numerous functions during which they meet and not only network and exchange business cards, but they also gain new insight on what businesses are located in Greene County.  In addition, the individual members learn more about the businesses that serve the area, and some of them even choose to serve as Ambassadors.

And each year, the Chamber presents awards to its members who may be recognized as an Industry of the Year, Citizen of the Year or Small Business of the Year.

“There are a number of beneficial reasons to become a member of the Chamber, including member-to-member discounts, sponsorship opportunities, spotlights in the news media, savings on insurance premiums, and free advertising in the lobby of the Chamber and in listings on the Chamber website,” Cronic said.

The Chamber also promotes several events throughout the year, including the Southland Jubilee scheduled for April 20 and the Cruise In, which will take place on September 21.

“The Greene County Chamber of Commerce is a wonderful resource for newcomers and businesses alike,” Cronic said.  “Our office staff would be glad to assist potential members with their application and provide more information on the benefits of becoming a member.”

For more information about the Greene County Chamber of Commerce or to view a full member directory, visit the Chamber website at http://www.greeneccoc.org..

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