By Sherri Blevins
Mountain Valley News is excited to introduce a new show, Chamber Chat. Each month David Holt will cohost two chamber shows; one show will feature Sandy Goff with the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce, and the other will feature Jennifer McCurdy with the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. The show will air on Farmers’ Telephone Cooperative Television, Mountain Valley News’s Facebook Page and its website.
The first episode, recorded on Monday, March 11, 2019, featured Holt and Rainsville native Jennifer McCurdy, with the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. McCurdy joined the chamber’s marketing staff after leaving a marketing position in the healthcare field.
McCurdy explained that the purpose of the chamber was to enhance the business climate of the area. She stated that the chamber’s logo said it best- Partner, Build, Prosper. She said, “If we can partner and build together, we will prosper. We have done just that. The chamber has grown over the last two years and is continuing to grow. Presently, there are 300 chamber members.”
Holt asked McCurdy about the programs the chamber offers for area businesses. She excitedly talked about the partnership the chamber has with Jacksonville State University’s Small Business Development Center. She explained that each month a representative from JSU visits Fort Payne to meet with individuals who currently own a business and with potential business owners to offer free advice ranging from starting a business to moving the business to the next level. The meetings are totally confidential and are geared towards the needs of the individual. This program is open to anyone free of charge.
The chamber hosts several other monthly events designed to provide educational information and an opportunity for networking. These events include Business & Breakfast, Success in Sixty, and Business After Hours. Each event occurs at a different time of day to accommodate many different types of schedules. Business & Breakfast is held the third Tuesday of every month. The event is hosted by different businesses each month. On March 19, between 7:30am and 8:30am, the Children’s Advocacy Center will host the event. Fort Payne Main Street partners with the Chamber of Commerce to host the Success in Sixty event the first Thursday of each month. Each month a different speaker provides information about new business initiatives and lunch is served. On the fourth Thursday of each month between 4:30pm and 6:00pm, networking opportunities abound at the Business after Hours events.
McCurdy encouraged viewers to be sure and check out the annual Krazy Kudzu Follies. This event will take place on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at 7:00pm and then on Sunday, March 24, at 2:00pm. This event is a fundraiser for the chamber that helps them provide services for local businesses. Tickets can be purchased through the website (fortpaynechamber.com) or by visiting the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce office.
Chamber Chat is scheduled to air Thursday, March 14th between 6:30pm and 7:30pm on Farmers Channel 6. It will be available on MVN’s Facebook Page and website the next day.