Greene County Chamber of Commerce joins alliance

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce has joined Fluvanna, Louisa and Orange counties in entering into a regional affiliation with the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

In keeping with a model introduced by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, eligible chamber member firms and organizations — those with 10 or fewer employees located in one of the participating communities — will become affiliated members of the Charlottesville chamber at no additional charge. Charlottesville chamber member firms, in turn, also will become affiliates of the neighboring county chambers, also at no charge.

“There’s strength in numbers,” says Larry Dudding, who operates Nationwide Insurance in Ruckersville, and who will assume the presidency of the Greene County Chamber of Commerce January 1. “I see this affiliation as good for everybody and helping to promote the businesses of the local communities. We have some (business) gems up here that people might not know about.

According to reports, leaders from all five localities say that by jointly leveraging their local influence, they can benefit small businesses by bolstering a broader regional influence.

Timothy Hulbert, president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, said small businesses and civic organizations make up about 80 percent of each chamber of commerce’s membership. The Charlottesville regional chamber has about 800 members. The Greene chamber has about 90 members; Orange chamber has about 280 members; and Fluvanna and Louisa counties each have about 180 members.

Alan Pyles, owner of the Lafayette Inn & Restaurant in Stanardsville, who is widely credited with breathing new life into a fading Greene County Chamber when he assumed its presidency in 2006, issued a joint statement with his wife, Kaye.

“This is an exciting relationship for each of the participating chambers,” the Pyles say. “(It) specifically provides Greene County members everything. We maintain the benefit of having a small and close membership, but now gain access to an extended audience – providing the ability to gain new business as well as an expanded portfolio of options to grant business. We gain a broader range of knowledge and education that will benefit (our) chamber members.”

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the greater Charlottesville communities.  Founded in 1913, today Chamber member enterprises employ more than 45,000 people in Greater Charlottesville, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.75 billion a year.

Outgoing Greene County Chamber of Commerce President Robbie Morris, owner of Performance Signs in Ruckersville, is thrilled with the alliance.

“I’m passionate about helping organizations succeed,” says Morris.

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