For both start-up and established businesses in Union County, there’s no better resource than the Union County Chamber of Commerce. And if you’re among the former and haven’t yet tapped into this networking gem, what are you waiting for?!
Operating as a non-profit business association since 1935, the long practicing Chamber serves to provide value to our members by helping their businesses grow and run more efficiently. They provide education, advocacy, and networking opportunities, all with the goal of increasing potential success for its members. The Chamber has come under new leadership within the last five years when Pat Kahle came onboard, and now serves as the organization’s president. And as a result, the Chamber has transformed itself into a highly proactive, high energy organization, that has seen an increase in its membership by 27 percent!
“Our Chamber reflects our community,” explains Kahle. “Union County is growing and vibrant, with a diverse business community.”
Membership is open to all, pending an online application process, along with a discussion to ensure the Chamber is a mutual fit. Annual dues are put towards pulling off the 6 to 12 events hosted by the Chamber each and every month. These events range from networking luncheons to job fairs to mentor/mentee match-ups, and cater to the needs of their different member sectors — “soloprenuers” (i.e., one-man start-ups) to large businesses and everything in between.
“All businesses have a need for a qualified workforce, to increase visibility, and for a voice in public policy to advocate on their behalf,” states Kahle.
The Chamber is constantly finding ways to collaborate and work with other organizations. Case in point is their Make It In Union County event, going on this week, to increase awareness among students of the local high-tech, high-paying jobs in manufacturing. They’ve partnered with Monroe Union County Economic Development, Union County Public Schools, and South Piedmont College to inform middle and high school students, their parents, and educators, while simultaneously seeking out qualified workers.
The Chamber of Commerce is not only being immensely utilized and appreciated by its ever-growing members, but it’s also received recognition by the Carolina’s Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives for being an outstanding example of a social media marketing strategy. It’s through their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram platforms that they’ve been able to be so effective in promoting their mission to their members and the larger community.
“Our growth is a direct reflection of the growth of our community and on the passion of our members. They’re great engaging others and are very welcoming,” beams Kahle. “Ultimately, we just believe in the work we’re doing.”