Time for chamber discount ending...
For longtime observers of the often-contentious relationship between Columbia County and the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce, the current climate has been a remarkably refreshing change.
The Columbia County Chamber is now a separately incorporated entity. And its first executive director, Gordon Renshaw, has hit the ground running, carrying on an aggressive membership campaign started by interim director Andy Kingery.
The campaign is important, for a couple of reasons:
First, it signals the willingness of Columbia County businesses - especially those run by owners critical in the past of Augustas dominance of the chamber - to put their money where their mouths are; and,
Second, local chamber support is vital for the countys effort to reach autonomy. Without adequate local funding, the Columbia County chamber will continue to rely on Augusta chamber money for its survival.
Thats why a deadline coming up tomorrow is so important. The end of the month signals the finish line of a campaign in which new Columbia County chamber members can get a break on their membership fees. After Thursday, the introductory offer is over.
Its a good deal. New members pay $175 for first-year dues and $225 for the second, before dues rise to $300 in year three.
And $300 is more than a bargain, says Renshaw. We just need to communicate that its a lot of bang for the business buck.
A recent seminar singing the praises of chamber membership was important in that effort; other such seminars are planned in coming months, part of an overall education mission by the chamber.
But in the meantime, businesses that want to be in on the ground floor of an opportunity to strengthen Columbia Countys role in the broader community need to sign up by Thursday if theyd also like to get that opportunity at a discount.
To join, call Renshaw at 651-0018.
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