What a month, what a year! So much happened to help us rethink Patrick County.
While it is true, the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce does not function like most other chambers; I always say we are more like a community organization than chamber, but we play an important role in our community by bridging the gap between the public, businesses and government.
We had 10 ribbon cuttings this year for new businesses or businesses who expanded their services. By partnering with One Family Productions, Rotary Club of Stuart, and Step, Inc., we were able to launch the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. To date, we have 264 kids enrolled in the program and receiving a book every month.
The chamber hosted four lunch and learn programs during the year that ranged from social media and Canva design to food truck regulations. The chamber was active and attended many workshops throughout the year from the Patrick County Tourism Summit to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation initiative meetings, Department of Housing and Community Development meeting in Wytheville, and other regional project meetings.
Promotion of all the community events is in and of itself a full time job. From fundraiser meals, holiday celebrations, promotions of Small Business Saturday, Stuart Spooktacular and Hometown Christmas, Patrick County loves to fellowship and have fun.
Our partnership with Patrick County Tourism has produced our Patrick County Magazine. This bi-annual magazine won the Southwest Virginia Tourism Award this year for “Best Magazine Guide.”
Hosting the Lunch with Community Leaders, a partnership with Reynolds Homestead, was once again well attended and successful in facilitating information about all the projects happening in Patrick County in a short amount of time. We are grateful to the Patrick County High School Hospitality class for their assistance in planning, preparing and serving the meal, along with room decorations.
As we close out 2023, we are already planning for 2024. We will kick off January with our annual membership drive as well as ad sales for the Spring 2024 Patrick County Magazine. These revenue sources are two of the three biggest contributions that keep the chamber going. Thank you to all those who have been members or purchased ads in the past, we hope with your continued support, we can work to make Patrick County the best place to live and work, and visit in Virginia and beyond.
One other project we are busy preparing will be our Economic Summit that we will co-host with Reynolds Homestead, Patrick County EDA and Tourism and the Town of Stuart. We are hoping this event will bring together our local businesses for an interactive informative session on how we can help support our businesses with necessary resources. More information and the date will be announced at the beginning of the year.
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a prosperous 2024.
(Adcock is the executive director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce.)