Columbia County's Chamber of Commerce is getting serious about creating its own identity.
Now it needs a few good members to help.
Chamber leaders have set their membership drive goal at 200 during the next two months, said Acting Director Andy Kingery during the drive's kickoff last week.
"Make this part of your daily routine," he told those in attendance. "Ask the people you talk to, 'Are you a chamber member?"'
Kingery said the chamber used to have a single membership rate of $300. Now, to lure more small businesses, the membership-fee structure is tiered: $175 the first year, $225 the second and $300 the third.
Membership allows for ribbon cuttings, members-only discounts in some cases and possibly a mention in the quarterly chamber publication.
"For a small business that doesn't have a whole of lot of money, this is a great selling tool," he said, holding the publication, which is distributed in copies of The Augusta Chronicle.
For now, membership in the Columbia County chamber also means membership in Augusta's chamber, Kingery said.
"We want to be remain affiliated with the Augusta chamber," he said. "It's to our benefit to do that but we want to get out here and be as self-supportive as we can."
Chamber also allows members to help in the fight for Fort Gordon, Kingery said. When chamber members go to Washington in June to lobby for Fort Gordon, they'll be representing each member.
"Your chamber membership allows us to have a stronger voice in Washington, D.C.," he said.
The first new member - The Columbia County News-Times - signed up during Tuesday's meeting.
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