Did You Know?
The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting is less than a Month Away!
Our goal is to celebrate this extraordinary community, the people that have worked so hard to make a dynamic difference and to find HOPE in a sometimes dark world.  Join us for this 60 minute production! You don't want to miss this!
Join us for our 117th Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 25th from 11:30am-1:00pm! This virtual production will be just as exciting as in years past and will be free for our members and the entire community! To confirm your spot, advanced registration is required. Due to the pandemic, we have chosen to completely rethink this event and we are sure you will enjoy it.  

At the event, we will: 
  • Celebrate a year of unprecedented change
  • Briefly discuss the re-organized Chamber of 2021
  • Honor award recipients of the:
  • Small Business of the Year
  • Spirit of Athens Award
  • Upshaw Bentley Citizen of the Year
  • ATHENA Award
  • We will also have special guests that will be dropping in for words of wisdom, encouragement and hope!
Something big is coming soon....
Annual Meeting!
Take a look at our amazing nominees for the Small Business of the Year Award!
We present the Small Business of the Year Award Nominees!
The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce annually recognizes a small business for extraordinary success within the company and the community.

Meet our Small Business of the Year Award Nominees:














The winner will be announced at the Upcoming Annual Meeting!

Learn more below!
You Don't Want to Miss This!
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center Presents: Preparing for the 2nd Round of COVID-19 Relief Funding!
Join the SBDC for an overview of the proposed SBA funding programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can you expect from this webinar?

During the webinar, you will receive information on the proposed components and features of the recently passed legislation concerning the 2nd Draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the changes to the SBA Debt Relief Program.
 
The SBDC will also provide recommendations for actions to take now in order to best prepare to take advantage of these programs once the SBA releases the guidelines (expected in January 2021).
These one hour webinars will be led by a team of expert business consultants from the UGA SBDC. In additional to the prepared presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session.

Upcoming Dates Include:
  • Thursday, Jan. 28 at 3:00 p.m. EST
  • On-Demand Version is also available
Do you miss the ability to Network? Join a Leads Group!
Are you interested in gaining trusted relationships with other businesses in the Athens Community? Austin "Tex" Bagley, from 3tree Realty, along with other business leaders have started their very own leads group! The goal of this group is to share leads and generate business opportunities for its participants as well as develop trusted relationships through the networking process. With a leads group, only one business from each sector is represented (e.g one banker, one realtor, one insurance company, etc.) so there is no competition within the group.

This leads group has already began to meet (the 1st Tuesday of each month at noon) but they want to welcome any businesses who may want to join in this great opportunity! If you are interested in joining a Leads Group, feel free to Email Tex Bagley below!
Businesses who have already joined:
3tree Realty | Peach State Federal Credit Union | American Pest Control
DSI Group | Butcher Health Law
Persist SEO | Capital City Home Loans | State Farm | Lauren Harrell Design | Spotless Athens | Comfort Systems USA | Classic Center | Responsive Technology Partners | Bilbo Books Publishing
Secure your position in the Official 2021 Athens Area Chamber Guide!
The Athens Area Chamber Community Guide is a great resource for businesses and townies alike! Those who advertise in the Chamber Guide will enjoy numerous benefits and the ability to reach various members of the Athens community.
If you would like to be featured in this guide, please reach out to Nelson Smith, Regional Marketing Executive at (404) 625-4153 or at the email address below!
Envision Athens: The Year of the Good Neighbor
Join Envision Athens in inspiring locals to commit to pursuing unity, equity, prosperity, and compassion in the new year. Envision Athens is a movement, inviting all people in our community to unify Athens Clarke-County around a common vision, and we're declaring 2021 the Year of the Good Neighbor! The goal of this year-long campaign is to inspire all Athenians to be Good Neighbors, united under one vision to better our community’s future through our four core values— unity, equity, prosperity and compassion. Throughout each month of 2021, Envision Athens will focus on one community element including education, health, environment, small business, nonprofits, and several others. 

Click below to learn more!
Georgia Chamber Presents its Weekly Update!
Join the Georgia Chamber on Wednesday, January 27, at 2:30PM for a discussion around vaccine distribution in Georgia. Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Public Health, will be with us to share insights, updates and strategies for this important next step to recovery and a more resilient future for us all.

This event is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, please click below.
Members in the News!
The Paycheck Protection Program Re-Opened to Small Lenders on January 15th and will open to all Lenders Today!
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15 at 9 a.m. ET. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.
Coldwell Banker Commercial Upchurch Realty's Jonathan B Hogan appointed to the 2021 Athens Association of Realtors® Commercial Land Forum Chairman!
Coldwell Banker Commercial Upchurch Realty’s Jonathan B. Hogan is appointed the 2021 Athens Area Association of REALTORS® (AAAR) Commercial Land Forum Chairman. Hogan will remain in this role for the remainder of this year. As Chairman, he will be responsible for creating an agenda of monthly meetings and coordinating guest speakers, who will each present insight on various industry topics and concepts.

The Athens Area Association of REALTORS® was founded as an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Georgia Association of REALTORS® (GAR). This local board is comprised of REALTORS® in the Greater Athens area and serves as a governing power for educational and professional development, community outreach, industry standards and updates, member advocacy, and so much more.

To read more, click below!
Extended by popular demand: Athens on Ice is here through February 15!
Athens on Ice, presented by Akins Ford, is extending to February 15 due to popular demand! That means there's still time to make it out to Athens' favorite outdoor activity in the 440 Foundry Pavilion at The Classic Center. With mobile tickets, limited capacities, and extra sanitation measures, you can relax and enjoy! Space for each session is limited, so buy your tickets ahead of time to save your spot on the rink. Skate sessions are 75 minutes of fun at only $15 per ticket. Groups of ten or more are eligible for $12 tickets.
Want to be featured in the Members in the News Section?
To be featured in the Members in the News Section, submit your content to our 'Members in the News' section (events, press releases, employee recognitions, etc) through the Member Portal!

Feel free to contact
kim@athensga.com with questions!
Member Testimonials!
Scott Sheppard, lead pastor of Cornerstone Church, talks about what he loves about being a Chamber member and hopes Athens can achieve in the future!

If you would like to send in a testimonial to the Chamber, use the link below! If you have any questions, please email victoria@athensga.com
Special greetings to our new member of the week! Welcome!
Welcome to the AACOC, Bilbo Books Publishing! We are so happy to have you on board!
Unlike the traditional publishing houses who might never open your manuscript unless you are already famous, or the self-publishing outfits out there who only exist to take your money and churn out a substandard version of what you, the author, envision as your book – Bilbo Books is different. Bilbo Books Publishing believes a close relationship between author, editor and publisher is possible, but only if the publisher is willing to “Personalize the Process.” Authors deserve nothing less.

Learn more about our newest member below!
Welcome to the AACOC, Athens Kids Specialists PC! We are so happy to have you on board!
Athens Kids Specialists PC provides comprehensive pediatric health care for infants, children and adolescents with service delivered by caring, compassionate and supportive staff.

Learn more about our newest member below!
Get Involved with Athens!
Creature Comforts: Get Comfortable - Addressing 2021's greatest needs
What is Get Comfortable 101?

Get Comfortable aids in greater communication, stronger partnerships, fewer silos, less replication, and the concentration of funding around our community’s most pressing needs. While there are many worthy causes in our community, discomfort emerges whenever any need goes unmet. But rather than tether our corporate giving to a specific charity, Get Comfortable channels the generosity of many toward our city’s greatest needs. It is seldom that the public, private, and nonprofit sectors come together, compare notes, and execute a unified strategy. But we need one another: we need both the guidance of local leadership and generous businesses to propel social innovation. So, Get Comfortable with Creature Comforts by learning more below!
How can you get involved in Get Comfortable?

  • Join Get Comfortable here.

  • Willson Center + Sierra Nevada Event: Wednesday, February 3rd: Join Creature Comforts for a special event hosted by UGA's Willson Center titled “Conversations on Diversity, Community, and Sustainability: Sierra Nevada, Creature Comforts and the commitment to do good, better.” In the meantime, you can read about the 2021 Sierra Nevada collaboration by clicking here.

  • Get Comfortable Launch: Wednesday, February 10th at 4:00 pm: Grab your computer and your favorite Creature Comforts beer as Creature celebrates the start of another fundraising season! Additionally, you'll hear from the brew masters at Creature Comforts and Sierra Nevada about this year's collaborative Hazy Double IPA. Click here for the Zoom link
  • Click here for an informational video
United Way of Northeast Georgia: National 211 Day!
211 is a vital program for our region! This February 11, also known as National 211 Day, is a perfect time to share the benefits of United Way's health and human services information and referral program with your colleagues, neighbors, friends and family.
 
Challenges exist for everyone – and sometimes getting help can feel hard. United Way of Northeast Georgia’s 211 program makes it possible for everyone in the region to get connected with local resources to meet the needs of everyone. On Feb. 11, join United Way of Northeast Georgia in celebrating National 211 Day by telling your story of getting help through 211 or how you share 211 with others – by handing out cards, putting a poster in your storefront, or more – via your social channels. Post your stories and tag @unitedwaynega on Instagram or Facebook and let us know how 211 matters in your life!
ESP: Big Hearts is less than a month away!
Each year, ESP brings together members of the community with the children and families it serves for one special night: Big Hearts. It’s an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the abilities of some of our community’s most big-hearted individuals, while leaving their disabilities in the wings. This year for Big Hearts, there will many opportunities to provide your support for ESP families including the 2021 Kia Telluride Raffle Entry, a Host at Home Watch Box Preorder, Big Hearts Watch Box Preorder, among other great items!

Click below to learn more!
The Culinary Kitchen of Athens: The Winter Community Market 2021 is Finally Here!
Don't let the cold weather keep you away! Winter Community Market 2021 has gathered your favorite local shops and makers together so you can purchase goods during the winter season!

The Winter Community Market will be held every Saturday, January 9th to March 13th from 11:00 am-2:00 pm. It will be held at Hendershot’s Coffee located on 237 Prince Ave, Athens, GA 30601.

To apply as a vendor or to learn more about the event, visit the website below!
Announcements
UGA Innovation District is Bringing Back their Startup 101 Series!
Kicking off their Spring semester programming, the UGA Innovation Hub will be bringing back the Startup 101 series, with new and relevant topics for pandemic times.

About this Event
Listen to Jim Forbes talk about the world of Corporate Venture Capital, with audience Q&A after the lecture.
The UGA Innovation Hub will be offering a limited number of in-person tickets for attendees to join in the new Innovation Hub on UGA's campus for these events, as well as the option to participate remotely through Zoom.

This event will be held on Friday, January 29, 2021 from 11:00am-1:00pm.

Click below for more information!
American Pest Control Hosts Fundraiser benefitting Foodbank of Northeast Georgia as a part of their Operation 50-50 year-long Campaign!
American Pest Control invites you to kick off your new year right by getting active for a cause. Operation 50-50 is the year-long campaign created by American Pest Control to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Starting in Nov. 2020, they have already completed “50 hours in 50 days”, a community service project. Now American Pest Control will shift its focus towards, “50 Miles in 50 days”. 
        
Registration for the 50 Miles in 50 Days campaign opens on January 6 and will stay open for 25 days, closing on January 31. This exciting venture is encouraging people to commit to walk or run a total of 50 miles in as many days. 100% of the $20.00 registration fee will be donated to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to support their mission of ending hunger. American Pest Control will provide participants with an event T-shirt and exclusive digital swag.

Click below for more information!
UNG Oconee Blood Drive is Here!
The UNG Oconee Blood Drive will be hosted on February 4th, from 9:00am-5:00pm at 1201 Bishop Farms Parkway in Watkinsville, Georgia! By donating your blood, you can help to save local lives in our community!

Click below for more information and to register for a time slot!
Hinge Creative Co. is hosting a FREE webinar!
Join Hinge Creative Co. for a FREE webinar on typography tips, tricks, and trends for your social media.
 
What to expect?
During the webinar, you will learn how to avoid rookie mistakes and instead make your social media look like you have an in-house designer!
 You'll also learn how to pick typefaces that speak to your target audience and make sure that what you are saying isn't getting lost in your designs. To top things off, Hinge Creative Co. will share some of their industry secrets, favorite free font combinations, and how to use those to communicate with your audience.
 
Join them as they pull back the curtain on some of their favorite resources and show you how to set standards for your brand! You don't want to miss this!
 
Learn more and register below!
Looking for an apartment? Check out the Columns at Timothy Woods!
The Columns at Timothy Woods is running a great special right now! You can get one month free if you move in by January 31st, 2021 with a 10-12 month lease. They currently have availability in all of their floor plans including 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom layouts!

Learn more by visiting the link below!
Bread for Life: Let's get to Work!
Know anyone struggling to get employed? Are past mistakes holding them back? Bread for Life can help. If interested, feel free to call and set up an appointment [706-201-4640]. Their upcoming session starts in a few weeks and enrollment is now open!

Bread for Life provides hands-on training, instruction by industry professionals, and community support for men and women with the will to improve their lives and the desire to begin successful careers in the hospitality industry.

To learn more information, visit the website below!
W&A Engineering Partners with Hendershots Coffee and Heart Music Athens!
W&A Engineering is pleased to extend the Building Better Communities Local Business Partnership program into the month of January! All this week, you can help support a local charity by dining local at Hendershots, located in Bottleworks on Prince Avenue. W&A Engineering will match their first $500 in sales with a donation to Heart Music Athens, a local nonprofit supporting music education. Help support our local community by stopping by Hendershots!
ByoPlanet International has its Official Grand Opening!
On January 19th, 2021 ByoPlanet International held its grand opening and official ribbon cutting ceremony for its new facility in Athens, GA.
Due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic and the need for electrostatic disinfection technology, ByoPlanet has grown tremendously. To accommodate the surge in demand, ByoPlanet moved into the Classic Center in Downtown Athens in March of 2020 to utilize the space that would have been otherwise empty due to the pandemic. ByoPlanet also employed many of the Classic Center employees that would otherwise have been furloughed. Since early March 2020, ByoPlanet has created over 120 jobs in Athens Georgia, and is expecting to add between 30-50 additional assembly, test, and engineering positions by the end of 2021. ByoPlanet International hosted Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp, the Mayor of Athens Kelly Girtz, Georgia Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson as well as Senator Frank Ginn for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Read more about the entirety of the event below!
Get Your Bachelor's Degree in Business with Piedmont College!
Are you interested in earning your degree in Business while taking evening classes?
 
Come zoom with Dr. Margaret Ryder and Michelle Leach from Piedmont College about earning your bachelor’s degree at Piedmont College!
 
Click below to register for a session that works best for you.
 
Register Here:

Click the below for more information!
Piedmont College - School of Education: Invest in Knowledge with an Online Graduate Program!
Piedmont College is offering online graduate programs including the Masters of Art and an Education Specialist program! The Masters of Art focuses on Elementary Education, Middle Grades Education (Language Arts, Math, Social Science, and Natural Science), Secondary Education (English, Math, History,
and Broad field Science), and Art, Music and Instructional Technology. Apply here for the Masters of Art Program!

The Education Specialist Program focuses on Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) and Art, Music and Instructional Technology with the goal of developing distinguished contributing educators as instructional leaders, mentors, and models across school systems. Apply here for the Education Specialist Program!

Learn more and register below!
Thank you to all of our 2020 Chamber Champions!
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