This month marks a new beginning for the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and I am the interim president. It has been my privilege to serve the Beaufort business community as part of the chamber team since 2007, and I look forward to what the future holds.
While the chamber is moving forward, we are coming out of a huge economic downturn with incredible opportunities before us. Success stories, such as the announcement of the F-35s, can transform this community.
Tourism marketing has grown to the point that it will become a stand-alone organization. This transitional time provides an opportunity to reinvent and redefine the chamber and the core services offered to the business community.
The chamber's reinvention is about focusing on our core business. All chambers are nonprofit, member organizations focused on promoting commerce and economic prosperity in their communities. This chamber, created in 1892 as the Beaufort Board of Trade, will ratchet up its efforts to advocate for an improved business climate and provide programs to help businesses thrive.
Working with elected officials on behalf of business is one of this chamber's primary services to business. The chamber uses four guiding principles to set its legislative agenda:
Spinning off the tourism duties allows the chamber to better focus on helping local businesses reach their full economic potential. The chamber identifies the challenges and opportunities facing our local businesses, and responds by connecting them with resources, information and relationships (or customers) that will help them grow. We are able to support businesses by advocating for a pro-business climate in South Carolina and Beaufort County. A healthy, diverse economy benefits everyone.
As the chamber continues the process of defining priorities beyond tourism marketing, we will not waver from our mission. The chamber will continue to lead the enhancement, expansion and diversification of the business community throughout the Beaufort region. Our goal is simple: to be the voice of business.