Chamber launches campaign

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 8/8/18

The Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that it had raised 65 percent of its $1.6 million goal during its campaign to raise funds to promote its workforce and economic …

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Chamber launches campaign

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The Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that it had raised 65 percent of its $1.6 million goal during its campaign to raise funds to promote its workforce and economic development plan.

The announcement was made during the “Chamber’s Momentum ’22: Investing in Tomorrow” event held Tuesday afternoon at the Cleveland Country Club.

The kickoff campaign will promote workforce development, entrepreneurial development, a buy local campaign, tourism-based economic development, Chamber facility, website and equipment upgrades and economic and community development support.

The fundraising initiative is expected to be complete by December 2022, with implementation of the programs to begin in 2019.

The campaign is led by co-chairs Mike Griffin, of First Tennessee Bank, and Cameron Fisher, of the Church of God, International Offices.

Griffin said the campaign “will support programs that are crucial to current and potential new employers.”

“Forty-two companies and individuals have contributed to the campaign for a total of $1,040,00,” Griffin said. “The supplement to the Chamber’s operating budget will support the creation of over 2,000 direct and 1,703 indirect new jobs and over $1.1 billion in new private capital investments.”

Griffin said the campaign will promote cooperation between public and private entities as the city and county grow.

“In this competitive environment for growth, our county and the Ocoee Region will succeed if we work together as friends and neighbors in this public/private collaboration,” Griffin said.

CBCC president and CEO Gary Farlow said hundreds of people have worked thousands of hours to help the campaign succeed.

Fisher said the “quiet phase” of the campaign had concluded, with future plans to include more public efforts to raise funds to reach its goal.

“We have momentum,” Farlow said.

He thanked supporters and donors to the fundraising campaign.

“Many thanks to everyone who attended the event and the partners who have committed funds at this point in time, which will allow the Chamber to continue our mission of providing a landscape of opportunity for businesses, large and small,” Farlow said. “We believe the five-year plan will result in increased job creation and capital investment in our community. We look forward to working with people and businesses to reach this goal together.”

Similar initiatives in 2002 and 2008 resulted in generating 35 new or expanded industries, 6,156 new jobs, almost $214 million in direct payroll dollars and $3.5 billion in new capital investments.


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