Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Celebrates “Small Business Week” in Big Way with Entire Community

John Tabellione

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Many diverse groups and individuals in Georgia may celebrate later this week on the fifth of May, but the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce “Celebrate Small Business Week” festivities will run the entire week through Thursday, climaxing that evening with naming the winner of the “Small Business of the Year” at a Cinco de Mayo fiesta.  

The reception will feature margaritas, music and Mexican festival food to promote the impact of small businesses on the Albany and Southwest Georgia community and to celebrate that 2016 Small Business of the Year.

Thursday will be a fiesta night to truly celebrate the accomplishments of the Albany Area’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

“We have a very healthy small business community,” said Barbara Rivera Holmes, interim president and CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber supports all member businesses, working diligently as an advocate with policy makers at the local, state and federal levels. We hold weekly, monthly and quarterly events, such at Tuesday’s Lunch and Learn on Cyber Security and Digital Success. Monday we’re honoring the Star Business of the Week.” 

“It’s a symbiotic relationship between the Chamber and the membership, and it also includes our citizenry. The businesses receive the support of the locals in part because the Chamber strongly encourages a ‘Think Local’ purchasing mentality, and that benefits the entire community,” she said.

Data shows that when consumers know that a small business is a member of the chamber of commerce, they are 49 percent more likely to think favorably of it and 80 percent more likely to purchase goods or services from the company in the future. 

Holmes added, “Studies further show that for every $100 spent at a local establishment, $68 recirculates in town, a significant economic benefit for Albany. As the businesses thrive, they are able to give back, supporting families, growing jobs, volunteering in community activities.” 

Meanwhile, the benefits of being a member of the Chamber include opportunities to create visibility, develop referrals, expand networks and receive valuable business information. 

Holmes has led the Albany Area Chamber in her interim role since 2015. However, she knows the local economy and business climate quite well as a long time member of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission since 2008, for which she serves as vice president. 

Small businesses continue to open and grow in Albany. During Celebrate Small Business Week, two ribbon cutting ceremonies are scheduled: on Wednesday, The Bread House and Granary will open its new location on North Jefferson Street; Thursday morning, The Phone Revival will have its official grand opening. 

“We’re excited about celebrating all of our small businesses this week, highlighting their contributions, the role that they play in our community, and, of course, supporting them throughout the year,” said Holmes. “Furthermore, we will continue to encourage our community to purchase locally.”

About John Tabellione

John Tabellione is an award-winning, professional business writer, complemented by over twenty-five years of strategic communication responsibilities as a Marketing, New Business Development and National Account Sales Executive in consumer goods and commercial industries. 

Experience with Fortune 500 companies, as well as with smaller firms and non-profits, encompassing a variety of products, including those of Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark and Stanley Works. 

John has a B.A. in English from Fairfield University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Hartford. In addition, he has studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute at Syracuse University, and Italian language and culture at Kennesaw State University.