YOUR Membership at Work

YOUR membership is vital to the Chamber’s mission to champion business growth and prosperity.  

Halfway through 2021, YOUR Chamber is continuing that work through workforce development, advocacy on behalf of business, increasing visibility for our members, and much more. In the 2nd quarter we’ve seen an increase in energy in the community and businesses as we move forward together. Read below to see YOUR membership at work. 

WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE FOR BUSINESS GROWTH

Workforce Development

As North Carolina’s economy grows, so do the number of jobs that require high-quality credentials or post secondary degrees. But only 49% of North Carolinians ages 25-44 have completed that level of education. As you can see in the video from myFutureNC, if we keep on this pace, by 2030, North Carolina will have at least 400,000 fewer individuals with the skills necessary to fill the needs of jobs in our state. 

 

YOUR Union County Chamber is helping to create a thriving community through our work to develop and grow a strong talent pipeline. In June, we announced our partnership in a collective that will work to develop with solutions to the education attainment gap in Union and Anson Counties.

 

We are partnering with Wingate University, Union County Public Schools, South Piedmont Community College, and other community groups as part of a grant made possible through The UNC School of Government’s ncIMPACT Initiative and myFutureNC.  The collaborative is one of 15 statewide working to better align education systems with the needs of the regional economy. 

Helping Local Businesses Find Employees

To help meet the needs of employers with positions to fill and the large number of people seeking employment, YOUR Chamber collaborated with South Piedmont Community College, NCWorks Career Center (Union), and Centralina Workforce Development Board to provide a Virtual Job Fair on June 15. Attendees had the opportunity to apply for over 150 available positions at local organizations. 

 

Our work to connect LOCAL workers with LOCAL jobs continues with our Jobs website.  Chamber members can post unlimited open positions for free on the site. It’s indexed with Google to ensure high visibility for your posting. Check it out here: jobsinunioncountycoc.com.

Public Policy

In alignment with our public policy efforts to advocate for businesses, YOUR Chamber sent letters to members of the Union County delegation in the NC General Assembly. The letters requested their support of legislation to allow business expenses paid with proceeds from forgiven PPP loans to be deducted on state tax returns, saving millions of dollars for NC small businesses.  

North Carolina does not currently allow business expenses paid with proceeds from forgiven PPP loans to be deducted on the state tax return. 

The bill to align North Carolina taxes with the Federal forgiveness is making its way through the General Assembly.   If it passes, businesses would have to amend their 2020 tax returns. 

You can reach out to a Chamber member Tax professional here should you need assistance.

Broadband Public Policy Discussion

As part of our Public Policy Event Series, we hosted a free, virtual discussion with NC Representative Dean Arp and Union County Assistant Manager Patrick  Niland. In this event, Representative Arp discussed a new bill he co-sponsored that would expand broadband access to parts of our county where it’s currently not available. The bill has since passed in the NC House and is currently working its way through the NC Senate.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

As part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s mission to bring awareness of diversity and inclusion by empowering our members and community at large, we hosted a free and impactful “Discussion on Unconscious Bias.” The recording is live, and open for all to watch.

VISIBILITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Member Directory Updates

The Chamber Member Directory gives visibility to your business, helping customers and prospects find you.  For some of our member businesses, their listing on the Chamber website outranks their own website in search results.

Have you taken a look at your organization’s member listing recently? Now is a great time to see if it could use a refresh. The Chamber website gets over 10,000 page views each month. Don’t frustrate your customers – make sure everyone has access to complete, up-to-date information. Items to check on your listing include:

      • – Is your current address and logo correct?
      • – Are all the appropriate reps from your organization listed?
      • – Have you updated your keywords to ensure prospective customers can find your organization?
      • – If you have an enhanced listing, are you utilizing it to its fullest?

If you have any questions about updating your profile, reach out to a Chamber team member at info@unioncountycoc.com for assistance.

 

Member Information Center Update

We are constantly updating and improving features for our members. During the spring, we updated the design of the member pages to give them a cleaner, current look. Members can also add photographs of any reps listed under their company to help with making connections.

We’ve also added several How-to’s and Instructions under the Member Resources tab. Check out the updated guides to learn:

    • – How to Self-Identify Your Minority, Woman, or Veteran Owned Status
    • – How to Add an Event for Your Business
    • – Adding a Chamber Membership Badge to Your Website

You can find all of these and more guides in the resources tab when you log into the Member Information Center.

Return to In-Person Events Announced

In May, we announced The Union County Chamber Board of Directors made the decision to return to in-person events beginning in August. We anticipate the first will be the Small Business Meeting on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at the Chamber office. You can register for upcoming events here.

 In addition, we are currently scheduling in-person Ribbon Cuttings at member locations. We’ve hosted multiple successful Ribbon Cuttings in the past few weeks and have several more planned.

If you are interested in a Ribbon Cutting for your organization, please review the guidelines and requirements. Then fill out the attached application and a Chamber Team member will follow up. 

RESOURCES TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS

Two of the most noticeable effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on businesses were the financial challenges, and the number of new businesses created as employees ventured out on their own.

Starting and growing a business can be challenging and overwhelming. YOUR Union County Chamber is helping with resources for small businesses.

We’ve gathered the resources and connections you need to start your business off on the right foot, and brought them together in one easy to access document. 

THE WORK CONTINUES

It is YOUR partnership and YOUR investment that makes all of this work to champion business growth and prosperity in Union County possible. 

Read the 2021 Q1 update here.

You can read the 4th quarter of 2020 update here.

We mean it when we call it YOUR Union County Chamber.