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The Chamber Works for Business

Business owners have an invaluable resource in the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce and its staff – and that is no small thing as entrepreneurs navigate the ins and outs of running a business and juggling the many roles that requires.

Jennifer Richardson, director of the Chamber’s programming and events, said opportunities to learn and network are abundant through the Chamber.

“We have a regular monthly member lunch for all Chamber members,” she said. “Those include informative presentations from local industry experts, but we also have regular monthly networking events in the mornings and evenings.”

The topics covered at Chamber events include new developments in areas such as human resources, marketing and social media, and financial management. From time to time, Chamber events can even touch on health topics like preventing heart disease and stress management.

The Chamber also holds annual events to give business owners a chance to connect with new people. The Annual Bowling Tournament, Swing & Shuck (a combined golf tournament and oyster roast), and Sippin’ In Simpsonville Tasting Tours are just a few such opportunities that offer fun experiences outside of the usual business routine.

Marnie Schwartz-Hanley, the Chamber’s development coordinator, said she is passionate about the role that Chamber membership can play in personal relationship building, professional networking, and the business growth that results. She said Chamber membership leads to new friendships as well as business contacts. Both can help business grow.

“We strive to offer a high value to our members – from our online resources, to professional development sessions, to advertising opportunities, she said. “No matter what your business needs to grow, membership with the Simpsonville Chamber will provide access to the tools your business needs to succeed.”

Another important initiative of the Chamber is its annual Leadership Simpsonville program, which is lead by the Chamber’s President Allison McGarity. “Our Leadership program is a dynamic, nine-month journey designed to cultivate our local corporate and community leaders. Many Leadership Simpsonville graduates go on to serve on the Chamber’s board, earn promotions at work, and get elected to public offices… or all of the above in the case of one current member of our city council, Ken Cummings.” The program begins with a two-day retreat and continues with monthly sessions that cover topics such as local and state government, education, arts and history, public safety, and quality of life. A formal graduation ceremony is featured at the Chamber’s annual banquet each year.

As the business community continues to grow, McGarity said she is excited about the future of the Chamber and its leadership team. “We are constantly looking for new strategies to shake things up and increase the value that our oganization provides here in Simpsonville,” she said. “We are all committed to being a positive force in providing leadership and advocacy to unite and improve our local business environment.”

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