Chamber must work to promote local businesses

Published 2:23 am Sunday, February 8, 2009

By Staff
Director says local companies give back to the town
Staff Writer
The Washington/Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its 106th banquet.
The Washington Daily News asked chamber Executive Director Catherine Glover about the organization’s longevity, mission and relevance in today’s society.
Glover is an East Carolina University graduate. She worked for several years in the triangle before returning to her native Beaufort County. The mother-of-one worked in fundraising and development for the Beafourt County Developmental Center before becoming executive director of the chamber. She has held her current post for about 15 months.
Here’s what she said:
1. Define the chamber’s mission. Is it a cheerleader? A lobbyist? A support group?
2. How does the chamber help businesses, specifically?
3. Are small businesses weathering the current economic climate?
4. You’ve kept a 91 percent retention rate this past year. What sorts of businesses comprise the 91 percent, and what sort comprise the 9 percent?
5. What is the biggest obstacle to running a small business in Beaufort County and the surrounding area?
6. What changes, locally, could help businesses thrive?
7. What’s the best part of working for the chamber?
8. How would you like to see the chamber change in the next few years?“Of course I’d like to see it become more active in government affairs and work force development, and of course I’d like to see the camber continue to grow. We had a 12.5 percent member growth in 2008, and I’d like to see that continue, because that means we are relevant in this community, providing great benefits and supporting the businesses. We are a unique organization because we are the only ones that are working for the business community on a daily basis.”