By Laura P. Doster

Executive Director, Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge

 With the ever-changing tide of events, resilience is critical, and our priorities continue to be “reset.” At moments it can feel a bit daunting and a little exhausting. However, the one priority that has not changed in the nearly 30-year history of your Chamber is our commitment and concern for our businesses and residents. Each day we want to know: “How are you doing and how can we help?” This question is not limited to only our local business organizations and members, but to the communities that make up Hickory Nut Gorge.

 Our Chamber supports the commerce of our entire Gorge, but we always need you to help us understand what support looks like in your world. We do not want to guess or assume things. We want to LEARN and to KNOW in order to continue to SERVE. By staying in touch with you, pushing to hear from you, learning from you, and growing with you through the highs and lows of our shared place, we become a stronger chain of mutual support. 

You, our businesses and residents are the links in that chain. That is why we’re announcing a new campaign: Chamber Chain Links. Over the next several weeks, members of our board and staff will be reaching out to our Gorge Community. That may be a phone call, email, a visit, or through Facebook (if you participate). We want to know the following:

 • How are things coming along? Successes, challenges and opportunities

 • How has the Chamber been helpful/supportive through the pandemic? 

• What tasks can we stop or start doing in order to better support you, your business, or your employees, if applicable?

 This campaign will ensure our Chamber is on the right path that is vital to our customers.

 We are a small Chamber, with part time staff, a tight budget, and board members who are also business owners/leaders in our community. Consequently, every minute counts on where we spend our time and energy. We are an “event heavy” Chamber and, like you, since our signature events have been cancelled, we have taken a substantial hit to our revenues. Still, we know that not having a Chamber of Commerce – your voice for business and the economy of Hickory Nut Gorge – is simply unacceptable. 

We look forward to connecting with each of you, understanding your needs, figuring out how we can support one another and driving onward. “The secret of CHANGE is to focus all of your energy NOT on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates