Category Archives: News & Publications

Albany Area Chamber hosts Albany-Dougherty Day at Capitol

 

February 25, 2021

 

Albany Area Chamber hosts Albany-Dougherty Day at state capital

Chamber-led community delegation advocates opportunities, policies, resources

 

Albany, Ga. – The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce this week led a diverse delegation of local leaders from the public and private sectors to Atlanta as part of the Chamber’s long-standing Albany-Dougherty Day, a government affairs advocacy program that uniquely positions the community’s opportunities and partnerships and showcases the impact of its leadership and innovation.

The legislative event highlighted Albany’s resiliency during discussions with key state decision makers and partners — including the office of Gov. Brian Kemp, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Albany Area legislative delegation — who noted the community’s exemplary and decisive response to managing the pandemic; its role as a leader in rural innovation and rural health care; its efforts to expand rural broadband service and reliability throughout the Albany Area; and its economic opportunities in the growing areas of manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and health care services.

“Through vision and action Albany has positioned itself as a statewide leader in collaborative partnerships, resiliency and innovation. Our present is exciting; our future more so,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, the region’s largest business advocacy organization. “The Albany Area Chamber will continue to accelerate impact by leveraging partnerships and opportunities; convening and connecting stakeholders and leaders; and driving transformational change for Albany and the Albany Area.”

The Albany Area Chamber’s 2021 pro-business legislative priorities include investing in rural broadband and rural innovation, which is critical to supporting educational attainment, economic growth and utilization of telehealth services; the expansion of the health care professional pipeline to ensure Georgia has the work force to provide the care and services citizens need, and supporting telemedicine to increase access to care for rural Georgians; small business liability protections; support incentives and initiatives that remove barriers for small businesses, that expand access to resources and that have proven to assist companies in investing and expanding their footprint in Georgia, which has been ranked the No. 1 state for business eight years in a row.

The local leadership delegation included representatives from the Commodore Conyers College & Career Academy; AB&T; the Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau; the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission; Albany Area Primary Health Care; Albany Technical College; the city of Albany; Dougherty County; Georgia CEO; LRA Constructors; Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany; Phoebe Putney Health System; and the office of U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

Albany-Dougherty Day is a component of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Division, chaired by Jake Reese, vice president of LRA Constructors in Albany.

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Elyse Bower named Resource Development Director for the United Way

Elyse Bower has been named as the  new Resource Development Director for The United Way of Southwest Georgia!  She comes to us with an extensive background in non-profit fundraising after spending several years as Development Officer for Self Regional Healthcare Foundation in Greenwood, SC.  She began her non-profit career with the American Cancer Society here in Southwest Georgia and also served as Director of Donor Relations for Magnolia Manor, Inc. in Americus.  In the coming weeks, she will be in touch to learn how we can best support your philanthropic investments in a meaningful and impactful way.

From 2021 Chairman 2021 Matt Reed

Dear Chamber Members,
Thank you for your continued membership and support of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
Historically, this time of year at the Chamber are some of the busiest months on our calendar. We traditionally kick off the new year by transferring the chairman’s gavel during our January annual meeting and celebrating the accomplishments of the past year. We look forward to hosting our 111th annual meeting in a new way in spring, and as we are able, to hosting other relevant events that highlight our community and our businesses.
This upcoming year sets a new course for the Albany Area Chamber. The Chamber’s recently adopted new strategic plan, #ImpactABY2023, lays the groundwork for continued sustainability and relevance in an ever-changing world and for engagement on a whole new level from our Chamber to you — our members and stakeholders. I want to thank 2020 Chairman Perry Revell, who led our strategic planning effort, along with our Chamber staff and the board for their tireless work on this endeavor. We look forward to sharing details of the plan with you soon along with opportunities to participate in this important work.
This last year brought unprecedented challenges to all businesses, including my own, but I am so thankful to live in this community with some of the best leaders that we could ask for. One thing is for sure: When people from throughout the state ask how Albany is faring, I am always encouraged that no matter what is thrown at us, especially these past few years, we have always persevered. The public health crisis is not over; please keep our leaders and frontline workers in your prayers as they continue to battle this most recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Thank you for you again for your engagement in the Albany Area Chamber. Know that we are here to support you and your business and welcome the opportunity to do so.
All the best,
Matt

Highlighting the Albany Area Chamber’s 2021 State Legislative Agenda

 

Advocating for a healthy business climate is a programmatic pillar of what we do at the Albany Area Chamber. On Monday, the Georgia General Assembly gaveled in the 2021 legislative session. Georgia is the No. 1 state for business, and has been eight years in a row; the prosperity of the Albany Area and Southwest Georgia contributes to that historic ranking. The Albany Area Chamber will continue actively advocating policy to enhance the Albany Area’s business environment and its quality of life — and, that of Georgia.

Prior to the beginning of the session, the Albany Area Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC), led by GAC Chairman Jake Reese of LRA Constructors, worked through the fall of 2020 developing our 2021 State Legislative Agenda. This set of priorities was approved by the Albany Area Chamber Board of Directors in November 2020. Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president & CEO of the Albany Area Chamber, presented the priorities to the Albany Area state legislative delegation during a pre-session meeting with other business and community organizations, and strategic partners.

The Albany Area Chamber’s state legislative priorities are listed below. As the 2021 legislative session begins, we want to say how much we appreciate the opportunity to work with our Albany Area state delegation — Senator Freddie Powell Sims and Representatives Gerald Greene, Winfred Dukes, CaMia Hopson and Bill Yearta — and other state leaders, as we have for many years, to advance our priorities.

2021 STATE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Funding Priorities

  • $6.9 million for construction of the regional health professions simulation lab at Albany State University, which would create increased opportunities for health professions students and better equip them to enter the work force
  • $8 million for the Diesel Equipment & Auto Collision Demonstration Center at Albany Technical College, which would reduce the transportation worker shortage by allowing additional space and program enhancements for diesel technology, automotive collision, automotive technology, and commercial truck driving
  • $964,000 to continue supporting Math Corps, an AmeriCorps program designed to improve math skills for students in grades K-8

Pro-Business Priorities and Positions

Rural Health Care

  • Support initiatives that expand the health professions pipeline, including appropriate licensure reform to grow Georgia’s health care work force and increased investments in educational programs that support Georgia’s health care industry
  • Support appropriate reimbursement rates for telemedicine services to increase access to care for all patients
  • Support efforts that address mental and behavioral health gaps in rural communities
  • Support initiatives and investments that expand access to care and strengthen our regional health care delivery system, such as through the expansion of telemedicine
  • Support efforts to enhance Georgia’s trauma care network

Internet & Broadband

  • Expand broadband capacity in rural and underserved areas through public-private investment and incentives. Access to and reliable Internet impact education, health care, national defense and commerce. 

Business Climate & Economic Development

  • Support programs and initiatives that remove barriers for small businesses and expand access to resources
  • Maintain current tax incentives, which have proven to assist companies in investing and expanding their footprint in Georgia
  • Maintain the state film tax credit, which supports Georgia’s $9.5 billion film industry
  • Expand the Rural Quality Job Tax Credit to all Tier 1-lowest 40 communities
  • Support state partnerships for greenfield projects that promote regionalism and enhance quality of life, tourism, wellness, and economic development
  • Oppose policies that would have a discriminatory effect on Georgia’s ability to grow the economy and maintain a reputation as a leader for global commerce

Education, Talent & Work Force

  • Maintain Albany State University as a component of the University System of Georgia
  • Support policies that improve college persistence and completion rates to provide an employable and adaptable workforce
  • Invest in methods that improve third-grade math and literacy outcomes

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Support the investments and the development of programs and policies that facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in rural communities

 Transportation

  • Support investments to expand and modernize transportation infrastructure
  • Support education and training programs that expand the transportation work force
  • Support partnerships and investments in infrastructure improvements 

Military & Defense

  • Support policies, investments and partnerships that strengthen Georgia’s military installations and their communities, as well as service members and their families

Natural Resources

  • Preserve & enhance access to high-quality, affordable water supplies for businesses and communities in the Albany Area and Southwest Georgia

Albany Area Chamber announces Albany Under 40 category winners

 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bárbara Rivera Holmes
229.434.8700

December 31, 2020

 

Albany Area Chamber announces 2020 ‘Albany Under 40’ category winners

 

Albany, Ga.– The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the 2020 Albany Under 40 category winners, selected from among the category finalists previously announced. Albany Under 40 honors and celebrates the Albany Area’s emerging leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors, each representing a component of the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.

“The Albany Area is home to young leaders who are making their mark through excellence in their professions, through their innovation and through their participation in building a stronger community and region,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “Through Albany Under 40, we’re honored to recognize our area’s diverse and outstanding professionals who everyday contribute to our thriving community and region.”

“We know that people are at the heart of our businesses, our organizations and our community. The 2020 Albany Under 40 professionals represent the incredible and growing talent of our local and regional work force,” said Zan Waldon-Cooley, the volunteer Leadership Division Chair of the Albany Area Chamber and the Albany Under 40 program coordinator. Waldon is the Workforce Development Specialist, Workforce Planning & Analysis Branch Chief at Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany.

Nominations for Albany Under 40 were sought from the public. Finalists were considered from among the nominees who applied, and were selected, following selections criteria, by a panel of volunteer judges: Jessica Nicole Dorsey, iHeart Radio; Pamela Green-Jackson, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany; Jeretha Peters, Wells Fargo Advisors; Daniel Stone, Synovus; Brianna Wilson, Southern Point Staffing; Milan Patel, Indusa Investments; Clifton Bush, Albany Area Primary Health Care; Alvita Swain; Strive 2 Thrive; Jacqueline Nicholson, Albany State University; Rob Collins, NEOS Technologies; Tau Kadhi, Albany State University.

Category winners were selected from among the category finalists. The 2020 Albany Under 40 Young Professional of the Year, selected by the volunteer panel from among the category winners, will be announced at the Albany Area Chamber’s 111th annual meeting, the details of which are to be announced.

 

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Albany Area Chamber announces 2020 Albany Under 40 finalists

 

Albany Area Chamber announces 2020 ‘Albany Under 40’ finalists

 

Albany, Ga.– The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce today announced the finalists of the 2020 Albany Under 40 awards, a program that honors and celebrates the Albany Area’s emerging leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors, each representing a component of the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.

“The Albany Area is home to young leaders who are making their mark through excellence in their professions, through their innovation and through their participation in building a stronger community and region,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “We’re honored to recognize these diverse, outstanding professionals — this talent — and proud they’ve chosen to live, work and invest in the Albany Area.”

“We know that people are at the heart of our businesses, our organizations and our community. The 2020 Albany Under 40 finalists represent the incredible and growing talent of our local work force,” said Zan Waldon, the volunteer Leadership Division Chair of the Albany Area Chamber and the Albany Under 40 program coordinator. Waldon is the Workforce Development Specialist, Workforce Planning & Analysis Branch Chief at Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany.

Nominations for Albany Under 40 were sought from the public. Finalists were considered from among the nominees who applied, and were selected, following selections criteria, by a panel of volunteer judges: Jessica Nicole Dorsey;  iHeart Radio; Pamela Green-Jackson, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany; Jeretha Peters, Wells Fargo Advisors; Daniel Stone, Synovus; Brianna Wilson, Southern Point Staffing; Milan Patel, Indusa Investments; Clifton Bush, Albany Area Primary Health Care; Alvita Swain; Strive 2 Thrive; Jacqueline Nicholson, Albany State University; Rob Collins, NEOS Technologies; Tau Kadhi, Albany State University.

Category winners, selected from among the category finalists, will be announced soon. The 2020 Albany Under 40 Young Professional of the Year, selected by the volunteer panel from among the category winners, will be announced at the Albany Area Chamber’s 111th annual meeting, the details of which are to be announced.

 

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Albany Area Chamber recognizes Bishop Clean Care, Open Arms with top honors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 13, 2020

 

Albany Area Chamber Recognizes

2020 Small Business of the Year and 2020 Nonprofit of the Year

 

Albany — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced Bishop Clean Care as its 2020 Small Business of the Year and Open Arms as its 2020 Nonprofit of the Year.

 

“Successful small businesses are cornerstones of our community. They create jobs, they invest, they participate, they shape the business landscape and they add to the vibrancy of our quality of life. Our nonprofits likewise play a vital role by focusing resources and providing services to community needs without regard to profit,” said Bárbara Rivera Holmes, president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber. “During a year in which small businesses and nonprofits have been especially tested, these two sectors continue to demonstrate their value, their impact and their resiliency, and we as an Albany Area community are stronger because of them.”

Small businesses have big impact, Holmes said. For every $100 spent at a small, locally-owned business, $68 stay within the local economy. Those dollars help create jobs, support families, fund public sector service and programs, provide investment for neighborhood improvements and promote development in our community.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, two out of three net new jobs are created by small businesses, substantiating why small businesses have long been hailed as the backbone of the American free enterprise system, and why the commercial fortitude of communities is often judged by the ability of their small businesses to thrive. In Georgia, 99.6 percent of all businesses are small and employ 43.1 percent of the private sector work force, or 1.7 million people (source, 2020 Georgia Small Business Profile, SBA). Statewide, firms employing fewer than 20 people saw the greatest job gains, with annual net new job creation of 38,017.

Nationally, nonprofits employ 10 percent of the American work force and provide 5.5 percent of our gross domestic product, Holmes said. They provide an avenue for people to dedicate their time, talents and treasure to making a difference. As the regional hub of commerce and service, Albany is home to many nonprofits, and every year, new ones are established; they are a presence in the area’s quality of life and economy.

“Each year we are humbled by the stories of sacrifice, success, impact and resiliency shared by our small businesses and our nonprofits,” said Perry Revell, chairman of the Albany Area Chamber Board of Directors and senior vice president at AB&T. “You make us proud, and we appreciate all you do.”

 

About Bishop Clean Care

Bishop Clean Care is a residential and commercial cleaning company servicing the Southwest Georgia community for more than 65 years. Services include cleaning of carpet, tile, rugs, and drapery as well as mold removal and air duct cleaning.

 

Notable Fact: Ten days after quickly mobilizing their teams to provide emergency services to their customers in the wake of Hurricane Michael, Bishop Clean Care experienced a fire that resulted in the loss of their building. The business relaunched within 48 hours and resumed serving the community in the post hurricane cleanup.  Bishop Clean Care has been in business 68 years, has been an Albany Area Chamber member for 56 years and employs 108 people.

 

 

About Open Arms

It is the mission of Open Arms to bring healing, hope and help to children, adults and their families in need of support, intervention and prevention as a result of child abuse in all its forms.

 

Notable Fact: In the past year alone, Open Arms has moved 206 people from homelessness and abusive homes into safe and stable housing. By providing services and housing, Open Arms helps decrease the community’s costs in caring for this population. Open Arms has operated for 29 years and has been a Chamber member for six years.

 

The awards program is led by volunteers of the Albany Area Chamber’s Small Business Development & Membership Committee. All finalists for the small business and the nonprofit honors were featured in the latest edition of Biz, the Albany Area Chamber’s award-winning magazine.

 

 

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