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Chamber pushing to increase membership

School's out, the weather's nice and the economy is picking up again.

There's never been a better time to join the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber's first membership drive in several years got off to a rollicking start last Friday with the annual Beach Blast, where Macon band The Grapevine entertained a host of McDuffie County residents at 1810 Country Inn & Winery until the wee hours of the night.

This week, current chamber members and officials got down to business, visiting with prospective members in hopes of adding to its current member base of around 225 individuals and businesses.

"Business is on the upswing, the economy is slightly better than it was, so we felt like it was the right time to become a member of the chamber," said Executive Director of Forward -McDuffie Powers.

Chamber officials have been busy promoting many of the organization's different benefits and resources, things that Mr. Powers hope will encourage more businesses and individuals to become members.

"The chamber enhances every business, whether you're a member or not," he said. "Anything about enhancing your business, growing your business or making your business more profitable, you should think about the chamber first to get information on doing that. We want people to use the chamber as a resource."

Benefits that go along with chamber membership include a discount on health insurance, the Drugs Don't Work program -- which also lowers insurance premiums, great networking opportunities such as Business After Hours, and access to money-saving state and local programs.

The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce is also committed to presenting a number of exciting events throughout the year, including Festival Off Main Street, Beach Blast, and Dinner By The Tracks.

Chamber President Mary Anne Coussons said that signing up to be a chamber member isn't just a formality; it's an opportunity to become part of the community.

"I think you may not feel that it's a necessity, but when all the other businesses are members, it's not only showing the support of the chamber but the support of the community as a whole," she said.

For more information on becoming a chamber member, contact Director Carolyn Gilbert at 597-1000.

Web posted on Thursday, June 17, 2004

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