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CBA to hold first Breakfast Before Hours Feb. 28
CBA with Mayor
Mayor Tony Scully (center) will speak at the first Camden Business Alliance (CBA) Business Before Hours event Thursday morning, Feb. 28. With the mayor at a recent gathering are CBA President Jonathan Bazinet (left) and Vice President Patricia Richardson. - photo by Tonia Boling

The Camden Business Alliance (CBA), formerly the Downtown Camden Guild, will hold its first “Breakfast Before Hours” event at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 upstairs in TenEleven Galleria, 1011 Broad St.

Camden Mayor Tony Scully will be the guest speaker, according to CBA Vice President Patricia Richardson.

“He will speak about getting together if we want to improve the city and then it will be open to anyone who owns a business to say what they feel,” Richardson said.

She said the alliance recognizes that there are, essentially, two types of businesses in Camden: established/successful ones and newer/struggling ones. Richardson said there is room in the CBA for both.

“If the city prospers, then my business prospers more,” she said. “We need to get past the negative and reach deserving businesses. They think they’re all by themselves, but they’re not.”

Richardson said the CBA also recognizes that some businesses rely on tourism -- restaurants, hotels and gasoline stations, as examples -- but that some may not.

She said membership that the CBA is being re-formed as a way to fill a gap between what the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce offers the entire county and what is needed just in Camden.

“There’s no business too small to have a voice -- we want to know what would help you,” Richardson said.

Membership is $20 per year, Richardson said, to be used toward the Breakfast Before Hours events and the creation of a business directory and map.

“It will list member businesses by category,” she said, adding that the CBA also hopes to fund the guide with Camden hospitality tax funds. “Many of us business owners get requests for this -- it would show the location and short description of any business which is a member of our group.”

Another possible focus, Richardson said, is beautification.

“We’d like to target places where we could enhance the general looks of the city and figure out ways to implement this, whether through grant money, fund raisers, etc.,” Richardson said.

She said the CBA’s full membership will meet quarterly, with the nine-member board meeting monthly in order to discuss what matters to bring to the attention of members.

“I don’t know what’s going to come up. We believe there is strength in numbers and, just from a fellowship standpoint, it makes sense to band together for the common good,” she said.

Richardson said the CBA is actively recruiting and provided several ways for business owners to RSVP for the Feb. 28 Breakfast Before Hours. Those interested in attending or becoming members can call 432-3283, email camdenbusinessalliance@gmail.com or write to CB Alliance, P.O. Box 4, Camden, SC 29021.