Are you Ready?

As I was researching what to blog about in the area of Economic Development for Cherokee County I was served an epiphany by a member who just stepped into the office to talk. A recent new business venture was struggling. Why? Several reasons but first and foremost lack of experience and lack of a solid business plan. Hence the question to aspiring businesses…..

Are you ready?

Of course the main purpose of this blog segment is to keep you, the reader, up to date on business ventures and opportunities happening in Cherokee County. But the thought that was provoked by my visitor was “How many business ventures start and fail making no more than a tiny ripple in our local economy but perhaps financially devastating the business owner?” Part of our mission at the Chamber is to promote established and new businesses and there have been more the a few times we referred potential business projects to Kathryn Jenkins at the Small Business Center (SBC) at Tri-County Community College before signing those businesses up for a Chamber Membership. Because unfortunately a “Great Idea” does not guarantee success.

So again, are you ready? If you are planning a new venture or even expanding a current business check out the valuable resources that are available right here and most are at no cost. Upcoming free classes at the SBC include Start Up Assistance and Marketing tips just to name a couple. Go to the link below and sign up. (Even if you think you are ready)

Small Business Center

Business Cards & Bojangles’

Each month Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce hosts an AfterHours networking event. Bojangles’ will be our host on July 18th in Murphy from 5:00 – 7:00pm. We invite our members, local businesses, and entrepreneurs to join us! We offer door prizes and select our Member of the Month and Ambassador of the Month from those in attendance. Be sure to bring your business cards and stay a while!

Congratulations to our Door Prize Winners!
Brad Bruce of Olde Town Brokers: Valley River RV Resort two-night stay
John Reynolds of Valley River Humane Society: Mike Lalone Pottery

Thursday, June 13th Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce AfterHours at Valley River RV Resort in Murphy. Many thanks to our hosts: Jean-Marie Harrison – Resort General Manager, Billy Harrison – Operations Manager, Loren Snyder and Ron & Judy Schweitzer.

Joining us were Murphy Mayor Rick Ramsey, Murphy Town Council Gail Walker Stansell, WKRKMcNabb PropertiesThe Whole StoreCherokee ScoutValley River Humane SocietyREACHCherokee County Arts CouncilOlde Town Brokers, Bear Creek Adventures Mini Golf and Gem Mining Co., Gaines Concealed CarryCherokee County Master Gardeners, and Chamber Ambassadors: Sherry Palmer, Cory Bailey, and Elo-ly Bailey.

Congrats to our Member of the Month: Dr. George Gaines of Gaines Concealed Carry and Ambassador of the Month: Elo-ly Harris of Cherokee County Arts Council & Cherokee County Master Gardeners!

Join us for your chance to be our Member or Ambassador of the Month!

Movers and Shakers

Economic development is alive and well in Cherokee County thanks to folks like….

Paul Worley; Director of Economic And Workforce Development at Tri-County Community College Center for Applied Technology

Aaron Patton; Director of Customized Training at Tri-County Community College Center of Applied Technology.

Kathryn Jenkins; Director of Small Business Center at Tri-County Community College.

Paul and Aaron concentrate much of their efforts on assisting in the expansion of established businesses and fostering new business growth in the region. Kathryn is the go-to person for business planning, marketing strategies, training, small business loan preparation and sound advice. The SBC offers a wide array of classes to the public that are free of charge and aimed to provide a foundation for entrepreneurs both large and small. 

After meeting with Paul, Aaron, and Kathryn areas for needed growth were outlined as housing, expanded broadband, and continued workforce development. Opportunities are plentiful in an area that has as 20% base in manufacturing, a major medical center, tourism, and a variety of healthy income opportunities from major employers such as: Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel, Murphy Electric Power Board, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, The Cable Company, Snap-on, IOI and MOOG, Inc.


The Hackney Warehouse AfterHours

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce held their monthly AfterHours Networking event; hosted by The Hackney Warehouse Thursday, February 21st at 5:00 pm. Venue Manager Lydia Gray welcomed Chamber Members, Chamber Board Members, Chamber Staff, Chamber Ambassadors, and guests with food and drink. Lucky winner of the Hackney Basket (pictured here) Melody Johnson of Edward Jones (center) with Lydia Gray on the right and Chamber Marketing & Public Relations Specialist, Becca McNabb on the left. Other door prizes were awarded to Greg Collins of UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Harrah’s Valley River Casino receiving a gift card for Brother’s Restaurant in Murphy and Missy Allen of America’s Home Place winning a piece of Mike Lalone Pottery. 

A great big thank you to Lydia Gray for making us all feel so welcome. It was a great evening of networking with Kula Wellness, Mother’s Hemp, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Harrah’s Valley River, America’s Home Place, Miller Well Drilling, iServe Residential Lending, USHealth Advisors-Tom Maynard, PNC Bank-Murphy, Bistro 29, Murphy Business Association, ROTOR Consulting, LLC, Kathryn Brown Jenkins, TCCC’s Small Business Center, AirMedCare Network, Murphy / Peace Valley KOA Holiday, Kona Ice of Blairsville, Murphy Health & Fitness, Appalachian Angels, McNabb Properties, Judy Bruce-Cruise Planners, Valley River RV Resort, Cinderelly’s Housekeeping, WKRK, First United Methodist Church-Murphy, and so many others. Thank You! Our next AfterHours is scheduled for Thursday, March 21st at Chick-fil-A Blairsville at 5:30 pm so mark your calendars.

New Location, Same Great Service!

Mountain Insurance celebrated their new location at 1241 US Hwy 64 West in Murphy with a Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting. John Bruce and our Chamber Ambassador, Debbie Bruce, are pictured holding the ribbon at each end with business partners, Mark and Kathy Moore, center with scissors.

The co-owners of Mountain Insurance are joined by their staff, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Exec. Director, Sherry Raines, and Ambassadors: David Brown, Corey and Elo-ly Bailey, Sherry Palmer, Tim Radford, and Nicole Hibbs. Many thanks to Pat Pratt Insurance Medicare Certified Agents and McNabb Properties for their continued support of fellow businesses. Contact Mountain Insurance at 828-837-3866, or visit their new location in Murphy.