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Chamber could receive entrepreneur designation

Not that it wasn't already, but the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce has been working to make itself a little friendlier.

Through an initiative set by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, the chamber has been seeking to receive the Entrepreneur Friendly chamber designation. On Feb 27, chamber officials and board members will find out the result of that work.

Members of a state-designated Entrepreneur Review Team will meet with chamber board members that morning at the Depot for a presentation. The team will then spend the day reviewing the findings and decide on the designation.

"We're all about business here, and we want to help all our small businesses," said Chamber Director Carolyn Gilbert. "It also means, not only people who are starting in business, but if you have any kind of problem or question, you could come here."

Mrs. Gilbert said she and Adela Kelley of the Georgia Department of Economic Development compiled information from 25 interviews they conducted with McDuffie County business owners to get ready for the review. That information includes how those owners started their businesses and what their needs were.

This and other information will be presented to the review team during their visit. The day-long review also includes presentations from local entrepreneurs Charles Johnson of Chardan Ltd., Ken Williams of Thomson Construction and Frankie Galbreath of It's a Southern Thing.

The review team and chamber board members will then have lunch at Abigail's on Main. If all the pieces are in place, the review team will present the designation during a ceremony between 3 and 4 p.m.

"It's not that easy," Mrs. Gilbert said. "It was a long process."

The designation itself means the chamber will become a resource center for anyone interested in starting a business in McDuffie County.

"We try to help everybody anyway. But if they come in here, and they want to open up a small business, we will be their resource center," Mrs. Gilbert said. "We may not have all the answers, but we have bulletins and contacts and that sort of thing."

Web posted on Thursday, February 22, 2007

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