Chamber board member ways in on travel and tourism

Published 5:58 pm Thursday, March 24, 2011

To the Editor:
Letter to the Editor:
It seems there are many local citizens and business owners who are unfamiliar with the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Here are a few current facts.
What the Chamber is:
A not for profit, voluntary organization that unites business and professional people in an effort to expand the economy of the area.
Its volunteers are local business people concerned about improving the area they do business in, and are willing to do something about it actively.
Its strengths lie in the number and diversity of its membership. Both large and small businesses from virtually every profession are represented and influence the program of the Chamber. THE MEMBERS ARE THE CHAMBER!
The more members the Chamber has, the better it can represent the business community. It accomplishes collectively what no business can do alone.
The Chamber is a community organization which recognizes all the factors that affect the community and adjusts its program accordingly.
Its purposes are:
To unite, inform and represent business in Columbus, Tryon, Saluda and Landrum.
To provide leadership on economic and business-related issues.
To promote a progressive and healthy business climate.
To provide efficient service to its membership, to the general public and to visitors.
To act as the “front door” to our communities.
The Chamber is not…
A department of the city, county or state government.
A political body, a civic club or professional society.
A social, service, welfare or charitable institution.
A private advertising, publicity or public relations agency.

A few specific accomplishments the Chamber has achieved:
Initiated the Save Local, Buy Local, Think Foothills First campaign. Purpose: to educate and encourage everyone to spend their dollars locally.
Maintains the Foothills Leadership Initiative. A nine month long, hands-on course to educate local citizens about Polk County and the surrounding area, both past and present.
Annually conducts a Business Education Series, where business owners and prospective owners can learn new business tools.
Our Director Janet Sciacca, is the President of the Western North Carolina Chamber Executives representing 23 counties. She stays current with chamber activities and networks with other chamber directors.
The chamber has given away over $125,000 in grant monies to local non-profit organizations due to the successful management of its fundraising events.
Our current membership represents 38 percent of our local business owners, well above the national average of only 25 percent.

I encourage anyone who is unfamiliar with the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce to please visit the office and get the facts straight.

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–– Robin Julian
Executive Board member of the Carolina Foothills Chmber