Latest Chamber Blog News

South Metro Development Outlook Conference

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Now in its 12th year, the South Metro Development Outlook (SMDO) conference convenes professionals with an interest in fostering smart growth in the southern crescent and highlights the City of Atlanta and the following seven counties: Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, Spalding and South Fulton. SMDO consistently features highly acclaimed speakers providing invaluable information relevant to South Metro’s continued growth and today’s ever changing economy. Other program participants include elected officials from the seven-county region.

The 2014 SMDO Conference will be held on Wednesday, February 19, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) in College Park, Georgia.  Registration is currently open, and sponsorships are available. For information regarding registration, visit their website at or call 404.684.7031.

Fayette Visioning Initiative Online Survey and Information

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Chamber members are encouraged to participate in the Fayette Visioning Initiative online survey and process.  Full details can be found HERE.

Upcoming Important Dates for Fayette Visioning Initiative:

December 2-31, 2013:  Online Community Survey  (
January, May 2014:  Mind Mixer online engagement  (stay tuned to learn more about this!)
March 4, 2014:  Community Leadership Meeting  (Location and time TBD)




The Great Give: How YOU Can Help Fayette County Students In Need

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

*A Fayette Chamber Gift Card Drive*

During the season of giving, the chamber invites members and the community to join together to support Fayette County School students who are at risk and in need.

WHAT AM I DONATING?Gift cards in any amount or denomination from local stores.  Monetary donations will also happily be accepted.

Children At Risk in Education (CARE) is an FCBOE student assistance-based program dedicated to reach out to students who need a helping hand.  Each school in Fayette County has a CARE team comprised of administrators, counselors, staff and teachers who identify and address the needs of students in need of support.  Donations to CARE provide non-traditional item needs to student identified by the CARE team as “at risk” or “in need.”

All gift cards or monetary donations will be given directly to the CARE program.  CARE leaders/volunteers will use those donations to purchase specifically identified  items needed by students in the program (all ages and grade levels).  Though some gift items may be purchased, the majority of the donations will be used to purchase non-traditional items such as shoes, socks, underwear, wellness supplies, toiletry items, groceries, clothing, school supplies.   **NO gift card or monetary donation will be given directly to students or their families.  All donations will be used by CARE volunteers to purchase CARE approved items.

Gift cards or monetary donations will be collected at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce through Wednesday, December 11th – The Great Give Celebration Day.  Karen Spangler, CARE program leader will speak about CARE at the December 11th B2B Luncheon and further explain the mission of the program and how donated gift cards will be used this holiday season.  Items purchased by CARE will be distributed to students prior to the December 20th semester break.

Contact Jamie Knox 770-461-9983 or email

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Nominations for Small Business of the Year

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

2013 Small Business of the Year Awards – Nomination Form

Fayette Chamber of Commerce gives this award to a Small Business of the Year nominee who has displayed exemplary planning, operations, and community involvement.  All nominees go through an extensive selection process and are selected by a panel of judges.

Qualifying Criteria:
Businesses may nominate themselves or another business for the Small Business of the Year Award.  Nomination DEADLINE EXTENDED:  Friday, December 6, 2013.

To qualify to be a Small Business of the Year nominee, the following criteria must be met:

• Must be a current Fayette Chamber member for a minimum of 1 year
• Business in operation for a minimum of three years
• Must be a for-profit business
• Business has not won this award in the past three years
• 1-50 employees
• Each qualifying business will receive an application submission instructions and that submission must be completed and returned to the chamber by Friday, December 13, 2013.

Judging Criteria:
• Sound business performance
• Business growth
• Economic impact
• Chamber and civic involvement

Nominating Deadline –Friday, November 22, 2013
Submission Deadline – Friday, December 13, 2013

The selection committee will review all nominations that have been received by the nominating deadline (Friday, Nov. 22, 2013) to ensure they meet the criteria.  Each qualifying nominated business will receive application submission instructions to be completed for consideration for the Small Business of the Year Award.

The 2013 winner will be announced at the Fayette Chamber Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, on Friday, January 17, 2014 at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center, Peachtree City.

NOMINATION FORM (please print & complete)

Community Visioning Update from Committee Co-Chairs

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

As soon as 150 Fayette citizens and the steering committee decided on Oct 18 that Fayette should develop a vision statement and implementing plan, Fayette immediately took steps to do so.

- Last week we signed a phase I contract with nationally recognized Market Street Services (MSS) to assist us develop the Fayette County vision and implementation plan. They’ll conduct technical extensive research & interviews, moderate a number of focus groups, analyze results, and present them so we better understand where we are… and where we want to go.

- Of course, it’s essential that these many activities are closely coordinated, so the steering committee is concurrently developing a five-month calendar that meets necessary milestones and accommodates major event here in Fayette County- such as school breaks.

- Several organizations have already stepped forward with particularly helpful financial pledges & donations, and Fayette Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Randy Weaver has volunteered as fund raising chairman (“This is a vital effort, we have to do it, and I’m confident that a number of other organizations who feel the same way will jump in”).

- Several other citizens have already volunteered their time, efforts, and meeting spaces through our email,, I encourage you to help Fayette County too.

Can you sponsor light refreshments for focus groups?  Provide them with a meeting space, or meeting supplies, like easels & paper, markers, paper & pens for group members’ use? Invite a speaker to you club, neighborhood association, or other organization for a brief explanation of the visioning process.

- Our Market Street Services partner is building the web site to help explain and inform the Fayette vision & implementation plan process (we’ll provide the link as soon as it’s up). It’ll contain an overview of future activities, much more detail on how they’ll be conducted, the calendar, and contacts.

One of the web site’s most useful features, however, will be as a portal for you to provide your ideas, thoughts, and even critiques of Fayette’s development process and the vision and plan that come out of it.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Trey Ragsdale & Bob Ross

The Entrepreneurship Project Needs YOUR Business Expertise!

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

TEP-Logo-200pxThe Entrepreneurship Project is a competition encouraging public high school student teams to develop and present a full business plan for a hypothetical Fayette County business in April 2014.  Prior to the April competition, students will study and learn about the critical areas of focus required to successfully run a business, such as finance, marketing, human resources, and management.

T.E.P. needs chamber members who excel in these areas of business and who are willing to share some of that expertise with the students in this project via:

  • In-class mentorship
  • Skype visits with students
  • Email response to student questions
  • Critique of student projects in preparation for final competition presentations.

Please email  if you would be willing and interested to help us facilitate this competition and  with students in any of these ways.  Learn more about The Entrepreneurship Project HERE.


Community Visioning Advisory Group Meeting-Oct. 18

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Fayette County is embarking on a Community Visioning process. A diverse cross-section of residents, community members and business leaders will be asked for their involvement to identify and create a unified vision for the future of Fayette County.  All facets of the county will be taken into consideration, including economic development, education, infrastructure, health and quality of life.

To introduce this vision process, a Community Visioning Advisory Group Meeting will be held Friday, October 18th from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree.

All chamber members are invited to attend this Advisory Meeting to learn about the process and hear presentations from consultants with expertise in this type of initiative.  There will also be time for Q&A and input from the attendees.

An RSVP is REQUIRED in order to attend.  Please call the chamber office at 770-461-9983 to add your name to the attendee list or register via the link below.

Community Visioning Advisory Group Meeting
Friday, October 18th, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree Conference Center
201 Aberdeen Parkway, Peachtree City

2014 Business After Hours Lottery – Enter Before Oct. 17

Friday, September 27th, 2013

The chamber’s monthly Business After Hours is networking at its best in a casual, relaxed environment at the host sponsor’s location.  Because of the high demand to be a BAH host sponsor, a lottery will be held to determine the 2014 host sponsors.

What are the benefits of hosting a Business After Hours?

The Business After Hours event will bring approximately 100 chamber members to your business for this prime networking opportunity.  The host sponsor is recognized in pre and post-event promotions and has the opportunity to present a 2-3 minute business promo at the event.  Other promotional opportunities include: opportunity to give away promotional items, display company banner, display promotional materials, and have access to the attendee list.

How do I become a host sponsor?

We invite any member who is interested to participate in the lottery drawing to be held at the October Business After Hours.  Interested members must register for the drawing by October 17th and a representative from your organization must attend the October Business After Hours in order to be selected.   Winners will have an opportunity to select the month of their Business After Hours based on the order in which they were drawn (i.e. the first winner will have the first selection).

What are the requirements of a Business After Hours host sponsor?

The cost for a Business After Hours Host Sponsorship is $500.  The host sponsor also must provide the location that can accommodate up to 120 people, as well as food and beverage for the event.

If you’d like to participate in the lottery drawing, send an email to Jamie at by Thursday, October 17th.

Leadership Fayette Application Deadline- Oct. 15th

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Leadership Fayette is ready to host its next class of leaders beginning in January 2014.

The goal of Leadership Fayette is to educate, connect and develop emerging and existing leaders from within Fayette County.  An initiative of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, the Leadership Fayette program will provide a broad awareness of the complexities and interconnectedness of the county’s history, economic development efforts, government, education and social services organizations.  Building upon the foundation of its strong programs in the past, the 2014 Leadership Fayette program has added depth of focus by increasing the exploration of significant topics, hands-on learning opportunities and detailed analysis of the major facets of Fayette County.

Class participants will better understand how the community works through a variety of educational opportunities, such as behind the scenes tours of key county facilities and systems, forums with local, regional and state leaders, situational role play and ideas, trends and needs within Fayette County.  Within these session frameworks, participants will learn strategies and qualities of effective leadership and gain the practice required to develop and hone those skills.

The Leadership Fayette program is open to members of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce.  A maximum of 30 individuals will be selected to participate.

Click here for application and program information.

V.I.T.A.L. Info Mtg – Sept. 9 – Make a Difference In Fayette Schools

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Monday, Sept. 9, 4:00 p.m.
Fayette Senior Services
4 Center Drive, Fayetteville

Volunteers are needed!  We invite all members to attend an brief informational meeting to learn more about V.I.T.A.L. (Volunteer Initiative to Assist Learning), a pilot program in partnership between the Fayette Chamber and Fayette County Board of Education.  The goal of the V.I.T.A.L. program is to communicate and promote volunteer opportunities within select Fayette County schools.  In this informational session, you will learn about the needs and opportunities within the pilot program schools and the time commitment needed for the different volunteer jobs.  Principals and teachers from the pilot program schools will be on hand to introduce their schools and the many different ways in which chamber members and the community can roll up their sleeves and have an immediate impact on the success of their schools and students.

Four schools have been selected to participate in the pilot:  North Fayette Elementary, Fayetteville Elementary, Robert J. Burch Elementary and the Fayette County Alternative School.

Generally, volunteer opportunities will be in two areas identified as having the greatest need:  classroom teacher assistance and general office work.  Job descriptions for both areas will be available at the informational session.

The V.I.T.A.L. program does not replace individual school volunteer programs that are already in place, but will serve as a resource to attract more volunteers into schools countywide, and especially assist schools that do not have enough volunteers to meet their needs.

All volunteers will be required to fill out a criminal background check and application form.  Applicants must have their background check cleared before they enter the program.  Volunteers will receive training, based on their area of interest, before being assigned to a school.

For any additional details about this meeting, please call the chamber at 770-461-9983.     (This program was previously referred to as Volunteer Force)


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