The Greater Warrenton Chamber, known for supporting the development of Fauquier’s small, start-up, and agriculture business interests, is undergoing a significant reorganization of the services it provides. The new GWCC will benefit members in several significant ways.
In the latter part of 2009, the nation’s economic downturn was in full-effect. The town and county were not viewed as “business friendly”, and there was practically no support or resources for businesses that were either new or struggling. This was especially true for small and micro-businesses. A passionate group of local business leaders chose to address these challenges head-on, founding the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce. The “Triage Team” was created: a volunteer group of industry professionals providing confidential consultation and guidance to our community’s many struggling businesses. Thus, nearly 30 businesses and non-profit organizations were supported and saved. The Triage Team is now known as the Business Assistance Team (BAT).
Over time, as needs have changed, the GWCC responded. The GWCC has offered educational programs, networking opportunities, and community event sponsorships, all at levels designed to be useful and affordable. The GWCC also took a very active role in helping our local officials pass business-friendly legislation. The result: the GWCC has contributed to building a thriving and collaborative community of small businesses. Fast-forward to 2016, and the economic climate is quite different. Our town and county have strong business representation and our Department of Economic Development is thriving. Many additional resources serve our local businesses, providing affordable opportunities for them to grow.,
Now, the new GWCC is making several significant changes that will help our businesses and non-profits in new and exciting ways. The new GWCC is expanding our Business Assistance Team concept to serve all our small business members; improving how we help our community succeed. Going forward the new GWCC will:
- Connect members at no additional fee with local industry professionals whose core business services are critical to every successful small business. Through the offices of the new GWCC, these attorneys, bankers, insurance agents, marketing consultants and others) will provide free consultations to our small, start-up, and struggling business owners.
- Provide step-by-step guides for starting a business in the town or county, including introductions to the appropriate government agencies.
- Offer a consolidated calendar of business-related events (educational and networking) in the area.
- Partner with both governmental and educational institutions to provide easy-to-use, detailed educational resources online at our website, for use at the convenience of our members.
Simply put, the new GWCC will put the things that every business needs at their fingertips; effectively and efficiently connecting businesses to the resources needed by making them accessible and convenient.
The GWCC is itself comprised of small business owners, and we are very excited to give our members what they’ve wanted some time; a central place to find everything they need to successfully run their businesses. While these changes will take some time to implement, many are already under way. We will bring you up to date at our January luncheon! Find out all the details and register here: