October / November Chamber Chat

The month of October was full of “Tricks & Treats” at the Berrien County Chamber of Commerce! After finishing the Harvest Festival, we quickly delved into planning our next big events including the Nashville Jams concert on October 21st and Trick or Treat around the Old Historic Courthouse Square. As Event Coordinator, I became very busy letting the public know about the 2017 Christmas Parade theme which is the Twelve Days of Christmas. I am very pleased that 13 clubs, churches, small businesses and industries have signed up to do one of each of the 12 days on their floats with one having all twelve days represented.  Of course, we also have floats, trucks, etc. in the parade and lots of candy. This was a wonderful “Treat” because I was concerned that we would not have all days represented but duplicate days!  Many people have asked how we select the theme. Since I have worked as Event Coordinator, it has always been whoever calls in first with the parade theme. Believe it or not, last year’s theme and this year’s theme were selected in 2016 and we have themes through 2019.

Which brings us to the first “Trick” in the month of October. Crissy Staley, Executive Director of the Berrien County Chamber and Development Authority submitted her resignation effective on October 30th to accept a job with Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. This will be a tremendous loss for Berrien County as Crissy worked tirelessly in this capacity to introduce our county not only statewide and nationwide but globally as well.

Berrien County Chamber and Development Authority Boards will be looking at various resumes and will hire another Executive Director but whomever takes Crissy Massingill Staley’s place will have some giant shoes to fill. We have lost someone who is from Berrien County and who has a vested interest to make sure Berrien County has the right amount of industry both manufacturing and agricultural for a prosperous way of life for our county. We can only pray that the individual hired is educated in Economic Development and brings as much to the table as Crissy has done. Our loss will be WGTC’s gain and you can bet that Crissy will represent Berrien County in her endeavors at her new position in a way that will make us very proud.

Perhaps, the greatest “Treat” for October is that our local sales tax were significantly up from September’s revenues. This could be that sales taxes from the vendors attending the Harvest Festival had been paid during this distribution period but for whatever the reason, it is great to see a rise in our local sales taxes.

Let’s take a look at the October numbers. LOST revenues for Alapaha were:$4,035.68; Enigma – $4,036.37; Nashville – $23,848.79; Ray City – $4,768.55 and Berrien County Commission Board – $81.624.31. LOST revenues were up a total of 4,119.17 from September. Berrien County Board of Education ELOST revenues of $119,916.27 were also up in October in the amount of $3,967.06. The Berrien County Commission Board also saw an increase in SPLOST revenues in the amount of $118,313.92 which was $4,119.41 higher than October SPLOST revenues.

The month of November has several events which we hope brought more revenue into our county beginning with the Alapaha Station Celebration and Black Light Friday Night skating and shopping. Shop Small Saturday which is small businesses answer to Black Friday shopping as well as the annual Lighting of the Christmas tree should draw shoppers and visitors to our town. Many merchants have also hosted special Christmas Open House for their customers so sales tax revenues for November should be higher as we enter into the Christmas season. Merry Christmas to everyone from the Berrien County Chamber of Commerce.