Anna Strickland

Anna Strickland

“Though she be but little, she be fierce,” Shakespeare said in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

At Rotary’s program on the Chamber of Commerce update, I thought Shakespeare must have been thinking of Anna Strickland. Anna packs a powerful punch. She powered up the Chamber increasing membership to 126 by adding 52 new members. Eight committees are involved in the 18 projects and initiatives supporting small businesses, women’s business connection, agricultural economy, and locally made products, just to name a few.

A new event to become annual in February, will be “State of the County.” This event will showcase local business by giving them an opportunity to give an update on their business. Another new event is “Business After Hours” which will offer a social setting for networking and awareness. The “Shop Local” initiative will be fun. When someone buys at a local business, that shopper can take the receipt to another local business and receive a discount. The “Women in Business” group kicked off with 25 business women involved.

One of the most comprehensive initiatives is the “Workforce Development & Education” initiative which partners with the University of Georgia, Madison County Schools, Broad River Academy and Foothills. Among other educational opportunities, David Stob, a consultant from UGA will meet with three Chamber members a month for business consulting. Starting Sept. 10, an annual “Job Shadowing Day” will give young people an opportunity to see what really happens in the career they are thinking about.

A new brand for Madison County is “MadiCo Made.” This project highlights products made in Madison County, working with a separate initiative called “Shop Small” beginning the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. What a powerful punch! What a powering up since January and amid a pandemic! Though Anna is quick to say this power comes not from her but from the members, energy is contagious, and it must come from somewhere. “Though she be but little, she be fierce” seems to give a clue where.

Ellen Cowne provides news from the Rotary Club of Madison County.

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