Chamber of Commerce 2017 Year in Review
“The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts.” Aristotle said that. He could have been Amish. Have you ever witnessed how that entire community gathers for a barn raising, to meet the needs of one of their family? What would be impossible for a single person takes place in the span of a day due to the power of a united community.
Our Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is where local businesses stand together, work together, and build a better society. As one, we achieve more than any single business could.
Your Chamber has been busy supporting businesses, helping them grow, and ensuring they have the knowledge and resources they need to win. On June 20th, over 100 of our members and community leaders came together for our annual meeting at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club to review the year’s accomplishments, celebrate outstanding members, and maintain a vision for what lies ahead.
As a barn is raised upon a foundation, businesses rest upon key resources. Our Chamber advocates for these critical services, vital for business operations and necessary to attract and recruit talented employees. Broadband is one example. High-speed access to the internet is a vital need of today’s business. The Chamber recently partnered with Senator Lewis, the Broadband Authority, county governments, private internet service providers, an many other community leaders to identify barriers and devise solutions. These efforts to enhance cooperation at all levels serve our businesses, community, and encourage the start of new ventures.
Quality local healthcare is another crucial service that affects everyone in our community. Not only is it critical to our citizens, it helps our businesses maintain a talent base. The Eastern Shore competes for its employees like any other region, and healthcare availability plays an important role in this struggle. This last year several Chamber board members joined Eastern Shore Rural Healthcare’s capital campaign committee in efforts to raise $2,000,000 for a new Community Health Center in Eastville.
Ever notice how many young people don’t stay on the Shore? Younger generations are highly mobile and understand they have a choice where to live. Many with families will move to where quality schools are available. Thus, just as vital as healthcare, a reputable education system supports business. Our Chamber worked closely with the Eastern Shore Community College in many efforts, including workforce development to provide training to our residents. We met with educators and planners in both counties to promote quality education and to expand workforce development into high school. Such endeavors supply the needs of businesses and provide employees a higher quality of life.
Your Chamber continues to be a constant business advocate. In March we joined five other chambers of commerce across Hampton to form the Hampton Roads Chamber Alliance. Together, we now leverage the impact of over 5,000 members to support broad issues that affect all our communities. We also hosted Eggs and Issues at various business locations, a get-together that brings state and local officials to our citizens to report on key issues, updates, and answer questions. We imported digital marketing experts from as far away as Washington DC to present a day-long seminar to local businesses to educate them how to market in this digital age. We networked regularly at Business After Hours functions and celebrated many new business openings at ribbon cuttings. These are but a few examples, as we hosted events and training opportunities too many to list.
Most recently, last Saturday June 17th we hosted Le Tour de Shore, a bike race whose popularity continues to skyrocket. Participation grew 40% from last year alone, pulling bikers from as far away as Florida. This event exhibits our beautiful environment and increases awareness since over 80% of bikers come from off the Shore.
Speaking of offshore, are you keeping up to date regarding the proposed expansion of oil drilling efforts near our pristine coastline? As a voice for our businesses and community, we are striving to raise awareness of this issue in support of NASA’s Wallops flight facility, local military operations, tourism, and aquaculture.
The Eastern Shore enjoys a proud heritage. Our people are warm, diverse, and industrious. We invite you to join us, lend a hand, ply your trade, and build a better community.
Small Business Person
of the Year
This annual award is given to an individual who has positively affected the community through his or her products and reputation as a civically responsible employer providing an excellent work environment.
Owner of Periwinkles, A Unique Consignment Boutique
Eastern Shore Yacht & Country Club, 5:30 pm
This annual event is a celebration of the year. Open to all members, it includes awards and nomination and election of new officers and directors. The evening begins with appetizers and cocktails. The Chambers board, staff and members share information that will help grow economic development on the Shore. Dinner and awards follow.
Cost and RSVP
$45 per person
Purchase tickets online (3% processing fee will be added) or
email email@example.com or call (757) 787-2460.
Since this is always a sold out event, RSVP is required.
If you want to reserve a table (6 or 8), please call the Chamber at (757) 787-2460 to arrange.
Sponsorships are available by calling the Chamber.
Outstanding Citizen of
the Year Award
This annual award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in professional and/or community leadership over a period of the last two years.
Barbara and Steve Johnsen