Dear Member, April 8, 2019 - Business Practices

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Have you ever wondered why Chambers are not typically involved in the economy of agriculture-related activities? Last week I attended the Agri-Tourism Conference in Roanoke and was stunned to see that there were not more economic developers or Chamber representatives there. Agriculture and tourism are primary businesses in our area. Agriculture is the number one industry in Virginia, bringing in $52 billion dollars annually and right behind it is tourism, the second largest industry, at $25 billion, according to 2017 statistics. Talk about rocking the economies!
 
Every industry and every business, large or small, is an enterprise, and they all have commonalities. After all, business is business, and businesses exist to make a profit (or in the case of non-profits, to break even). There is no getting away from the fact that whether you’re selling cars or manufacturing them, your goal is to turn a profit. Whether you’re raising cattle or growing vegetables to sell, you intend to make a profit. It’s business!
 
There are good business practices and bad business practices, and being part of the number one industry and supporting are good business practices. That just makes sense. That’s why I’m always surprised when folks ask me why the Chamber is involved in agriculture, agri-tourism or even tourism. It’s good business to support your community’s industries and businesses. Good business practices are essential for all businesses.
 
Maintaining good business practices and staying on top of trends, economic climates, and community stats all play a part in creating a quality of life for citizens in the community. Nothing says quality of life better than the business of agriculture.
 
One way the Chamber is able to support businesses is through another good business practice, encouraging people with shared business goals to connect for a common good. For example, one entrepreneur in Pulaski had dreamed of bringing producers and growers together to create a NRV food guide. We were able to help her connect in ways that made that possible, as well as partnering and collaborating with other organizations like Pulaski VT Extension and Pulaski 4H.
 
We also designed and developed the Marketplace, where we collaborated with Food City and LewisGale Pulaski Hospital chefs to cook healthy seasonal dishes and to share the recipes with our citizens. The Chamber additionally partnered to support the Fairview Community Garden in creating and establishing a walking trail around the garden. These are all examples of various entities that have benefited from partnering with others locally, and in return the people in our Pulaski community have benefited from those partnerships and working relationships.
 
The Chamber continues to work on projects that will raise the caliber of the quality of life for all the citizens in the area and at the same time help businesses with good business practices to stabilize their bottom lines.
 
Work hard, be productive and above all else stay positive. Maybe eat healthy too!
 
Peggy White
Executive Director
Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce
peggywhite@pulaskichamber.info
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