Coweta In Focus

Chamber 101

by Candace Boothby

(Editor’s note: The Newnan Times-Herald today continues its new business issues column, Coweta In Focus. Coweta Development Authority President Greg Wright, President and CEO of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce Candace Boothby and Newnan Business Development Director Hasco Craver IV are our contributing writers, along with other periodic guests — each focusing on their specific areas of expertise from a forward-looking, trend-setting and “what's on the horizon” angle.)

If asked, most people would say that although they have heard of chambers of commerce, they would be hard-pressed to explain exactly what it is that we do, why we do it, or what we stand for.

As an example, how many readers of this article think that chambers of commerce are a part of local government? How many think that chambers of commerce are tax supported? How many have a good idea of what it is that we do?

First, chambers of commerce exist as member-supported private organizations that advocate for businesses to thrive, provide jobs and supply tax revenues. There is no tax support as a rule, and chambers are all about creating a sound business climate, even though we sometimes have some fun in accomplishing our mission through annual golf tournaments, business expos and other events.

Individual businesses have no real clout individually with local or state governments, but when our members need to support or oppose legislation their voices are collectively heard more effectively by our elected representatives. We speak with one voice to our elected officials on our members’ behalf on issues like transportation, taxes, and other issues that affect the ability of business to succeed.

We partner with the educational system to help train graduates in areas that are important to local businesses and help provide jobs for those graduates.

We help businesses get their messages out through networking opportunities or ground-breakings and grand openings to let customers know about them.

We help provide businesses with information on taxes, human resources and legal issues so that they do not have to navigate unknown waters. We educate them on ways to more effectively and profitably conduct business. We are the allies of business so that they can support our community and help residents pay only their share of property taxes.

We encourage our members to do business with other chamber members, and we follow our own advice by conducting chamber business only with our members whenever possible.

And, I am very proud to report, that your Newnan-Coweta Chamber has been recognized as a Five-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 2013 which is the highest acknowledgment of professional service standards that exist nationally, putting us in the elite 1 percent of chambers.

So, if you are uncertain of what a chamber of commerce does for businesses, individuals and taxpayers please know that we want to help you be fully informed as to what the chamber and our members do for our community.

Visit our website at www.newnancowetachamberofcommerce.org for more information.



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