Chamber working to support business

Published 1:57 pm Friday, March 6, 2009

Local business leaders are banding together in new ways in order to survive in a challenging economic climate, said Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce President Evelyn Clay.

One of the new programs the Chamber of Commerce has instituted for its member businesses is a member-to-member discount plan, in which members receive discounts on goods and services they purchase from each other, Clay said.

Another program is a voluntary “Secret Shopper” program, which sends out Chamber representatives to gauge customer service at a participating member business, Clay said.

The Chamber has also continued providing its members with resources, such as manuals on a variety of business topics, as well as sponsoring professional learning opportunities, Clay said.

Another Chamber activity is its support for the Georgia Work Ready program, an initiative backed by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. In the Georgia Work Ready program, employees take tests to obtain certificates that measure their skill sets in areas such as applied math and reading for information.

Clay said the Chamber and local employers are partnering with the Georgia Department of Labor on the Work Ready program and testing will begin locally in March.

As part of its goal to improve the local quality of life, the Chamber of Commerce plans to hold a rubber duck race/raffle during the Chamber-sponsored River Town Days festival in May. For $5, a person can place their name on one of at least 5,000 rubber ducks that will be dropped into the Flint River. The person whose name is on the rubber duck that crosses the finish line first will win $5,000 and there will be an opportunity for someone to possibly win $1 million, Clay said.

Popular classic rock group Atlanta Rhythm Section will perform at the Earle May Boat Basin as part of River Town Days.