Altavista Area Chamber works on jobs, health care, tourism
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Hopefully, we are emerging from a severe recession that has impacted almost everyone. As it is with life in general, in the midst of hard times, we can find things that are positive, and it is important for us to acknowledge them. Businesses were forced to create new strategies to survive. They were forced to solve any immediate cash crisis, get control of costs, improve efficiencies, adjust their marketing program, address personal and personnel issues, and strengthen business relationships. All of this will make them stronger coming out of the recession.
The Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce decided it was important for our economic vitality to attract more technology-based industries. We contacted Sen. Mark Warner to provide us with ideas on how we might acquire this type of industry. We hosted a dinner and reception for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Virginia's chief jobs officer, to explain the efforts of the governor's office to bring jobs to Virginia. In March, we are hosting a meeting to learn more about the state's efforts. It will be led by the director of business development for Virginia, Region 2000 and Campbell County Economic Development. We will continue our efforts to locate additional sources of assistance and work with them to bring this to fruition.
Realizing that many of our businesses and individuals cannot afford health care and the high cost of prescription drugs, the chamber sponsors its own Prescription Rx Discount Card, which is available to anyone in the community to help alleviate the burden of paying the high costs of drugs. The card may be used at our local pharmacies with the average savings of 35 percent. Many businesses and individuals have benefited from this card. You may print the card off our Web site at www.altavistachamber.com or come to the chamber office.
Keeping up with government mandates is always a challenge. The chamber tries to keep our business community apprised of these changes by bringing in experts from various fields to educate us. On March 15, a representative from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement will provide training on Form I-9 compliance, fraudulent document identification and the 12 best hiring practices to ensure businesses are hiring an authorized workforce. In May, we are offering a seminar on identity theft by partnering with Intersections Inc.
The chamber offers world-class traveling opportunities at a reasonable price for our businesses and citizens to enjoy. Our first group traveled to Tuscany and another is bound for Ireland in March. In November of this year, we are offering the French Riviera. Anyone can go, and there is a business component if you are interested. You are given the opportunity to meet someone in the same profession from that country to network and see how that person approaches his or her job. Please call the chamber if you are interested in this exciting travel opportunity.
The chamber is working jointly with the Virginia Department of Tourism and Altavista On Track to develop a tourism plan for Altavista. Tourism means additional revenue for local business. Anyone wishing to help with this should call the chamber.
There will be a changing of the guard for Uncle Billy's Day this year as the Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce will take over the June 3-4 festival. We have been working diligently for several months to make this 62nd anniversary a huge success. We welcome volunteers.
Our vision is to be business' premier partner in good times and in bad. We will continue to work hard to serve the needs of the Altavista area community. We are optimistic that 2011 will be better. Stocks are at a two-year high and the overseas market is up also. Hopefully, we will see more job creation this year, which is badly needed.
For additional information contact Ibbie Hedrick at 804-225-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.