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Chamber approves new two-year strategic plan
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The Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce unanimously voted to approve a two-year strategic plan at its board meeting Thursday.

With adoption of the plan, the chamber will “play a major role” in sustaining the local “economic health” needed to ensure the success of business members. The board adopts a new strategic plan every three years, Executive Director Liz Horton said.  

Unlike the chamber’s 2008 plan, members were surveyed for this strategic plan. Their concerns, along with the concerns of board members, where sent to a consultant, Cathi Hight of Hight Performance Group, who determined three focus areas for the KCC. Hight has several years of experience with the Hawaii State Chamber of Commerce.

The six-page document supports the chamber as a “voice and leading resource for business” and outlines the three “priority areas and goals,” which include economic and workforce development, advocacy, and membership development and financial sustainability.

The chamber hopes to provide assistance in developing a skilled workforce, become a resource for governmental agencies; communicate more effectively, through a variety of platforms; positively influence the legislature, and educate their members on key legislation issues; and use its resources more effectively during throughout the next two years.

It is typical for a chamber to have strategic plans, but the Kershaw County Chamber’s No. 1 priority is always advocacy, Horton said.

“Small businesses don’t have time to lobby and keep up with day-to-day operations. We are their voice,” she said.

Alliances with the South Carolina State Chamber and Prosperity Project, a project that informs citizens about legislative issues that affect them, help make the government and governmental leaders more accessible to small business owners, Horton said.

The chamber conducted the surveys for their strategic plan this summer. Horton said she looks forward to working with members on the new strategic plan.

In other news:

• Camden Mayor Jeffrey Graham gave an overview of the proposed Broad Street “road diet.” The last public hearing on the proposed improvements was held in July. Graham said there would be space for outside eating and sidewalk sales with the improvements.

• Members learned that unemployment in Kershaw County was at 9.5 percent in June.

• The Chamber will hold a Diplomats Meeting on Oct. 2 at 8:30 a.m.; an Educated Voters Candidates Forum on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. at Camden High School; and a business after hours at 5:30 p.m. at First Community Bank.