2020 Year End Highlights

Posted By: Teri Smiley Community,

Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a great year for the Walton County Chamber of Commerce!  

Here are just a few highlights for you….       

  • We administered the generous Facebook Grant, distributing $175,000 in checks to 73 local businesses affected by COVID-19
  • Ramped up the Buy Local program, encouraging local shopping, curb side pick-ups and more for local retail businesses and restaurants.
  • Held several virtual workshops on PPP Loans, EIDL Loans, and workshops to increase your business on-line presence.
  • In August, we kicked off our first ever Capital Campaign to raise funds to secure housing for the Walton Chamber and our education Foundation, Walton Forward and have secured pledges to date for over 40% of that campaign.
  • Secured and moved into a beautiful new building – located at 207 North Wayne Street in Monroe – A thank you to the Walton foundation for securing the space for us and giving us 5 years to raise funds to purchase the building. And a BIG thank you to everyone who has made donations to our Capital Campaign. 

 Our Membership meetings and events included….

  • 17 Ribbon Cuttings
  • 3 Ground Breakings
  • 10 Membership Luncheons
    • 2 of those were Virtual
  • 11 Coffee & Connections
    • 2 of those were Virtual
  • 2 Network Breakfasts
  • 72nd Annual Banquet
  • 26th Annual Chamber Challenge Golf Tournament
  • 9th Annual Walton 5K & Half Marathon
  • 2nd Annual Battle of the Burgers AND
  • The MASKarade Party to replace Casino Night

Our largest event of 2020 - THE BIG Event - held in March of 2020, increased our membership, adding 226 new members!  We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our Godfather and Godmother of that event, Dr. Nathan Franklin and Ginny Givens!  Thank you to everybody who worked on the event – it was a lot of fun and very rewarding for our chamber.  We currently have 779 total members, including an additional 79 new members joining us in 2020 throughout the year and a year-end member retention rate of 92%!

I firmly believe that our local business community is the lifeblood of our economy, and as business leaders you are the foundation of our County’s future. 

Our Board is comprised of leaders from all Geographical areas in Walton County and various types of businesses.

The 2020 officers... 

Chair Renee Park

Past Chair Patti Souther

Chair Elect Ned Butler

Vice-Chair Chamber Resources Bonnie Haynes

Vice-Chair Community Development Ammie Elliott

Vice-Chair Economic Development Larry Ebert