I was honored to have had the opportunity to speak to our new members at the recent breakfast orientation at Elachee Nature Science Center. In preparing my remarks, I reflected on my initial experience as a newcomer to Gainesville-Hall County. I first joined Kubota and moved to this community in 2005. The first three people I met were Kit Dunlap, Tim Evans and Shelley Logan with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, and I have been involved in the Chamber ever since.
Although I work for a large company, we all recognize that small businesses are the real economic engine in our community. And, though our existing industries make a powerful impact, some 90% of Chamber members are small businesses. Small business is BIG business, and the diversity of Gainesville-Hall County businesses create the sound economy we enjoy today. The Greater Hall Chamber’s mission is to help make all of our businesses successful – to be our community’s “Voice of Business.” When our businesses thrive, the entire community benefits.
The most valuable aspects of Chamber membership are the endless opportunities to learn from others’ experiences – to learn what’s going on in the world around them and the incredible opportunities to network and to promote their business. In my experience, dollar for dollar, active involvement in the Chamber is exponentially more valuable than any traditional advertising available.
I emphasized to our new members that joining the Chamber means more than just paying dues and putting a sticker on their window. It means being a part of the community. In fact, in order to get the most out of Chamber membership, I encourage ALL members to take advantage of Chamber activities on a regular basis. When my son opened his podiatry practice in Gainesville (Lanier Foot & Ankle) two years ago, the first thing I advised him to do was to join the Greater Hall Chamber, and get involved in the community. This fatherly advice has paid off for him in many ways!
There are many ways to engage with the Greater Hall Chamber. Enhance your membership by joining a committee, serving as an Ambassador, learning from a Small Business Seminar, networking at events. You’ll build profitable business relationships and, most importantly, play a role in growing your business and the Greater Hall business community at large.