Decade of Accomplishments

2006

  • > New President/CEO recruited
  • > $80 million for SRS operations budget secured through trip to D.C.
  • > Aiken's Makin' held its 30th annual event
  • > Chamberfest – A Festival of Commerce launched
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2007 

  • > Accreditation received from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • > Chamber reached milestone of 1,000 members
  • > Annual Meeting restructured to feature entertainment and awards
  • > First Friday Means Business monthly business breakfast and program launched
  • > Savannah River National Laboratory Blue Ribbon Panel created
  • > Retention of young professionals in the area targeted by Blue Ribbon Panel
  • > First State of Our Community luncheon held
  • > Aiken's Makin' re-tooled as a high quality arts and crafts show
  • > Women in Business series created
  • > Equine Industry Task Force set up to see if Chamber and members are providing appropriate goods and services for the   industry

 

2008 

  • > Dialogue initiated between education and business to provide new partnering ideas
  • > Aiken Young Professionals (AYP) initiative started
  • > Information provided to members on House District 81 candidates
  • > Chamber-commissioned study showed the annual economic impact of equine industry was $71.8 million
  • > Bluetooth for eight Aiken County ambulances funded after Chamber raised $20,000 for life-saving technology

 

2009 

  • > Blue laws for Aiken County suspended by Aiken County Council following collaborative campaign between Aiken and North   Augusta chambers
  • > Recommendations from Chamber incorporated in City of Aiken's proposed Highway Overlay District design
  • > Top 10 for Excellence in Membership recognized during past year from the American Chamber of Commerce Executives
  • > Equine Steering Committee created
  • > Gift cards given to new teachers to help jump-start their classroom preparation
  • > AYP grew from 100 to 230 members in one year

 

2010 

  • > AYP strategic plan completed
  • > School bond referendum supported to alert members to educational needs in county. (Bond effort was unsuccessful)
  • > Equine trails totaling 600 miles identified and mapped
  • > Aiken's Makin' footprint revamped
  • > Shop Aiken campaign initiated and continues
  • > Business Academy started to help business grow and thrive
  • > New website launched
  • > Space in Chamber building allocated for SRS Heritage Foundation office

 

2011 

  • > Accreditation with 5-star status achieved by Chamber
  • > Small Business Saturday started on Saturday after Thanksgiving
  • > International Horse Park for Aiken County white paper released
  • > MOX funding at SRS supported
  • > H Canyon funding for SRS supported
  • > Chamber ranked among top three for its size nationwide for excellence in communication
  • > Aiken's Makin' earned four Stars of the Carolinas excellence awards from the South Carolina Festival and Events Association

 

2012 

  • > International Horse Park feasibility study completed
  • > Hitchcock Parkway funds of $13.5 million given to City of Aiken by State Infrastructure Bank following six years of collaborative   efforts between Chamber, City and Aiken County – project abandoned by City of > > Aiken and funds returned in 2014
  • > Chamber's Bridgestone Leadership Room named in recognition of company's $1.2 billion investment in off-road radial tire facility
  • > Shop Aiken campaign continued with emphasis on shopping locally for gifts, services and dining

 

2013 

  • > Next Big Ideas Blue Ribbon Panel established to seek ways to add quality of life and/or economic value to Aiken area
  • > The “voice of business” grew significantly when 234 businesses joined the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce during its Membership Event - Chamber membership exceeded 1,100.
  • > Economic vitality initiatives announced with Aiken Technical College and Midland Valley Preparatory School, Caradasa LLC and USC Aiken, and Sam’s Club and Greater Aiken Integrated Trails

 

2014 

  • > Young Entrepreneurs Academy launched – first in the state
  • > One-cent sales tax referendum for school construction passed with strong support from Chamber
  • > Benchmarking process started to produce baseline data for fact based decision making
  • > 100 Days to Make a Difference Steering Committee started to implement ideas in benchmarking report
  • > Five-year evolving plan started for the long-term prosperity of Aiken

 

2015 

  • > Five-year evolving plan continued with a goal of leading to community prosperity through taking risk, rewarding success and growing families
  • > Aspirational Cities Tour took business and community leaders to Greenville, S.C., Winston-Salem and Raleigh, N.C., to learn about successes in those cities

 

2016 

  • > Benchmarking process continues for third year
  • > Young Entrepreneurs Academy resumes
  • > Aspirational cities for 2017 tour being determined

 

 

 

 

 

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