September 2016
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2016 Board of Directors
We Thank Our Annual Sponsors
Camelia Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Message from the Chairman 

Labor Day is right around the corner and I hope everybody enjoys a long weekend. School is back in session, football season has kicked off and hopefully the heat will break soon. 

The Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will be held Friday, September 23rd at Belle Meade Country Club. The format will be a 4-player scramble with lunch included. Executive Director, Debbie Jones, has several "tweaks" she is working on which promise to make the golf tournament an even bigger & better experience.  Get your teams registered early before the field fills up!

Fall is also the time for many other events. The return of Fall Crows, Business After Hours hosted by University Hospital McDuffie & The Business Expo in October.

Start planning for this Christmas Season: the Camellia City Festival, the Tour of Homes, the Reindeer Run & the Christmas Parade! Lots of great things are going on in Thomson & McDuffie County. Plan to be a part of it!
Get Ready FORE Golf!
The Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament 4 Person Scramble will be held on Friday, September 23, 2016.  The tournament is limited to the first 22 teams.  Registration begins at  11:00 a.m., and a Shotgun Start is at 12:00 p.m.  A buffet lunch is provided by Belle Meade Country Club at 11:15 p.m. 
Costs are $100 Individual Golfer;  $400 - 4 Person Team; $150 Hole Sponsorship; Mulligans (2 Max) $10 each.

We are also selling raffle tickets at $10 each for a chance to win either a Yeti 20 quart hopper cooler or a Yeti 35 quart Tundra cooler.  The drawing will take place at the awards ceremony after the tournament.  

We are trying something a little different this year for the tournament.  We want to give our Chamber businesses an opportunity to showcase what they have available through a mini-business expo that will be located around registration and the putting green.  The table fee is $10 and we ask that you bring enough giveaways to accommodate 88 golfers and guests.  We've already received several table reservations for the expo, so this is shaping up to be a spectacular event.  For more information on the golf tournament, please contact the chamber.

Bring on the Fall!

The Thomson - McDuffie Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us for the 7th Annual Fall Crow event, beginning September 27, 2016.  Fall crows extend from the corner of Main Street and Gordon Street to the corner of Main and Hill Streets; along with displays on Railroad Street. 
We have a new addition to the decorating contest!  A hay bale decorating contest!  There will only be 14 hay bales available, so reserve yours as soon as possible.  These are round hay bales that can be painted and decorated anyway you want. 

GENERAL INFORMATION: Entry Fee (Due by September 27th)
Fall Crow: $20 / Hay Bale: $35
Display Time: September 28th- November 4th .

Fall Crow Contest
All Entries must be taken down by November 4th. Fall Crows may reflect a special theme and/ or promote a business, organization, or event. Fall Crows must be in good taste and constructed to withstand weather, and must not be made of any perishable items. You must maintain your Fall Crow Display throughout the duration of the display time. Fall Crows that are in bad taste are subject to removal by the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce. Fall Crow displays must not obstruct the view of drivers. Fall Crows must have a weatherproof sign that represents the organization.


Hay Bale Contest
Hay Bale Decorating Contest is open to ALL Chamber Members. Entry forms must be received by September 27th. Entries will be judged based on Eye Appeal, Construction, Use of Materials and Creativity. Decorations must be of a good, clean, wholesome nature.  No vulgar or suggestive decorations will be allowed!!

Bales will be placed lying on their side or standing on end.  This will be your choice.Latex paint may be used.  (NO Oil Based or Toxic Materials Can Be Used).  Latex paint may be applied to hay bale.  NO paint will be applied to the concrete!

Please specify position of bale on entry form. You are allowed up to 6 rectangular bales that YOU provide, for feet or decoration.  Please mark this on your entry form if using extra bales. Winners will be announced in the McDuffie Progress, WTHO Radio, and the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce social media.

YOU are responsible for the removal of ALL items off the bales no later than November 28th.  This includes all small pins, small wires, leave no items in the bales!  Animals use the bales after you, so do not leave anything that could harm them!!!

Please contact the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce if you have any questions or concerns at (706) 597-1000.  We invite our local businesses to get creative with their crows or hay bales, making your business recognizable through your creation. If you are interested in participating in this event, please print out application and return it with your payment. We look forward to seeing your fall decorations!
Employer Committee
The Employer (HR) Committee held their first meeting of the year on Tuesday, August 16th at One Stop.  Participants from several industries in McDuffie County were in attendance as well as insurance agents and legal professionals.  This meeting's purpose was to network and determine guidelines for future meetings.  Officers were appointed: Lisa Adams (KaMin) as Chair, Carrie Lokey (One Stop) as Co-Chair and Alison Ford (Georgia Pacific) as Secretary/Treasurer. 
The Employer (HR) Committee meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:45 am for a program provided by experts in the fields of labor laws and hiring practices. The next meeting will be Tuesday, September 20th. Contact the Chamber for information regarding upcoming programs or to RSVP for the event. 

Leadership McDuffie
Leadership McDuffie has officially begun taking applications for the 2017 class.  If you have an employee that is new to the area, or anyone interested in learning about McDuffie County, we encourage you to fill out an application for the upcoming year.  

Leadership McDuffie encourages community involvement within our leaders, while at the same time providing knowledge about McDuffie County that they may not be aware of.  On behalf of Leadership McDuffie Board, thank you to the community for your support.
Hope Hodge Co-Chair
David Crawley Co-Chair
Community Night at the GreenJackets Game
The Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce along with other Thomson businesses participated in the expo during the game on Wednesday, August 17th.  

Ribbon Cuttings
Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Gifts and More
Gracie B's Restaurant
Family Care Group of Thomson

Get Ready for the Camellia City Festival! 

Plans are in place to hold the Camellia City Festival (formerly known as the Festival Off Main) December 3rd.  We are reaching out to local businesses, churches, schools and civic organizations to participate in this event to create a fun-filled day for the citizens of McDuffie County and surrounding counties.

The Tree Lighting at the Depot will begin at 6:00 pm with entertainment from the Thomson's elementary schools, Thomson First United Methodist Pre-k. The Thomson Fire Department will be cooking up hamburgers and hotdogs.

Also, we'll have the Breakfast with Santa, Tour of Homes, Reindeer Run (5K), and the Christmas Parade.  So go ahead and make your plans for the 1st weekend in December to create Christmas magic in downtown Thomson.

We have a couple of open spots for homes in the Tour of Homes.  If you or someone you know would like to showcase your home on this tour, please contact the Chamber.

The Christmas Parade's theme is O'Holy Night.  Let's make this parade bigger and better and remind people of the meaning of Christmas.  We will be playing music on Main Street along with a live broadcast on WTHO radio station.  Your parade emcee's are Bill Hopkins (Watson & Knox Real Estate)  and Julie Langham (Augusta Technical College).

Please contact the Chamber to find out how to get involved or click here for more information
Tourism Update

The Thomson-McDuffie County Tourism Board has placed an audio interpretation box at the Thomson Depot that includes interpretation for Blind Willie McTell and McTell's 12-String Strut. So, go visit the "Blue Strings" guitar at the Depot. Listen to the audio tracks about Willie and the project. Pick up a map of all the guitar locations. Track down all of them. 

Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Advisory Board
We're looking for a few talented and conscientious volunteer board members to lead and strengthen the Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Advisory Board. If you can contribute your time, thoughtfulness, and leadership one day a month, and are interested in exploring this opportunity, please send a brief biography that includes relevant experience and how that experience will benefit Thomson-McDuffie and the local tourism community. Submissions must be suitable for distribution to the Thomson-McDuffie Tourism Board.
We're especially looking for folks who have a positive outlook on the community and a desire to create awareness within our community of the value of tourism and the products and services that we offer to our visitors.
Time Commitment: Board terms are for 3 years. Directors are required to attend nine regular scheduled Board meetings within a 12 month period.

Send your submissions to:
Elizabeth Vance
Thomson-McDuffie Tourism
149 Main St. Thomson, GA 30824

Georgia Economic Developers Association

Small Business ROCK STAR Awards Applications Open: August 1-October 31, 2016

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) have once again teamed together to recognize the outstanding, unique and impacting small businesses in the state of Georgia.

This unique endeavor for Georgia is a huge success only because of the small businesses that impact Georgia every day...the risks, the innovation, the outreach, the impact, the reasons why...all of these qualities abound in Georgia and we want to recognize them at the March 20, 2017, GEDA Luncheon.

Click  here for past winners. 

Any type of Georgia-based small business is invited to apply. Nominate your own company or another great Georgia small business

You must employ under 100.

If you have been assisted by your local or state resources, you will receive bonus points (see nomination form for further explanation).

PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION FORM NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 31, 2016. ONLY THE WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY JANUARY 1, 2017. Winners will be expected to attend the March 20, 2017, luncheon.
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