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Chamber trip to Montgomery connects students, business leaders and legislators

Thursday, March 10, 2022

On March 8-9, Chamber members, community leaders, elected officials, and members of the Excellence and Edge Leadership programs traveled to our state capitol of Montgomery to visit with legislators, tour exhibits telling the story of our state history and learn more about our state government.

The Excellence class started their two-day trip with a tour of the state Capitol and then visited the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in downtown Montgomery to learn about the history of the church from tour guide Wanda Battle. Following floor debates and observing both the House and Senate, the group took part in a Q&A session with members of the Morgan County Delegation that included Sen. Arthur Orr, Rep. Terri Collins, Rep. Parker Moore, Rep. Scott Stadthagen and Rep. Proncey Robertson.

 

Ordinance change will make starting home business easier in Decatur

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

This week, the Decatur City Council approved an ordinance change that allows the Building Department to approve home offices and issue temporary business licenses. Previously, the business owner had to go before the city Board of Zoning Adjustment to appeal for a variance.

The change will make the process of starting a home business easier and reduce the workload for the Board of Zoning Adjustment. According to City Planner Lee Terry, around 15 to 20 people a month seek permission to operate a business out of their homes.

Calhoun College Foundation receives $500,000 Advanced Manufacturing grant

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

On Wednesday, March 2, the Gene Haas Foundation presented a $500,000 grant to the Calhoun College Foundation to support the college's Computer Numerical Control or CNC Lab. The lab is located inside the Advanced Technology Center at the Calhoun Community College Decatur campus.

The grant was awarded in exchange for naming rights to the lab which is now called The Gene Hass Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The grant will also help fund any expansion plans for the lab and create more training opportunites for manufacturing technology students. 

 

Visitor center at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge to close for renovations

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Decatur will temporarily close for renovations on March 13. It’s part of a $5.4 million federal grant project that includes renovations to existing buildings and exhibits and adding an outdoor classroom. The facility is expected to be closed through October 31.

Counterfeit money circulating in Decatur

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The Decatur Police Department is urging all businesses to pay close attention to money they receive after an increase in illegitimate currency circulating through the city. Some of the money has the words "replica" and "play money" written on the bills. The police department also received reports of counterfeit $100 bills that are actually $10 bills.

Chairman Long says Morgan County growing despite pandemic

Thursday, February 24, 2022

On February 23, Chairman Ray Long provided an update and a look ahead during our annual State of Morgan County Address at the DoubleTree by Hilton-Decatur Riverside. More than 150 business and community leaders attended the event where Chairman Long shared the accomplishments of the Commission and his directors over the past 12 months to improve the quality of life for residents across Morgan County. 

"Morgan County had a great year in 2021. COVID-19 was still rampant but that didn't stop the progress in the county. We started construction on four buildings and completed a warehouse at our environmental site in Hartselle so we could combine recycling and environmental departments on one property," said Long.

Chairman Long spoke about the recent growth in the county and how new facilities are being built for two tag offices. 

Growth and redevelopment goals achieved as city moves forward with One Decatur plan

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The City of Decatur is moving forward to ensure it's One Decatur Comprehensive Plan is being put into action. The plan was created four years ago after using community input to identify critical needs. The plan provides recommendations on a range of topics that serve as a long-term vision to promote continuous and cohesive growth for the city.

A steering committee made up of community leaders makes sure those recommendations are being implemented. The results are evident as the committee recently reviewed goals achieved in the last year. Here's a list of the accomplishments for 2021 that are all a product of a One Decatur objective.

COVID-19 assistance available for small businesses in Decatur

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Small businesses in Decatur will be able to apply for the Small Business Loan/Grant Assistance Program starting on Wednesday, February 16.  The City of Decatur, the Decatur Morgan-County Chamber of Commerce, and the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center are partnering to offer the opportunity for local businesses impacted by COVID-19 to apply for a zero-interest loan of up to $20,000, with the potential of having the loan forgiven in 12 months. 

How personalities affect the work environment

Friday, February 11, 2022

At the Chamber's Breakfast & Biz development event on February 10, Ruthie Jones, a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with Eagle Counseling, shared a presentation on how knowing your personality and how personalities affect the work environment can help you develop healthy relationships, mutual understanding and respect with co-workers.  Attendees completed a personality profile and Jones shared an interactive presentation on how our traits fall into four categories represented by a turtle, monkey, lion, and camel. We all work with people that have personality traits different from our own and knowing how to recognize these traits can help us in the work environment where you need all four personalities on your team.


 

Highest-paying jobs in Decatur without a degree

Thursday, February 10, 2022

While graduating from a four-year college can help students secure a career, it’s not necessary for all career fields. Stacker.com compiled a list of high-paying jobs that don't require a college degree. They used the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook to compile the top 50 jobs in several Alabama cities.

Decatur ranks in top 50 housing markets

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Decatur is listed in the top 50 for housing markets in the country according to a ranking released by the Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com. The Decatur metro area is number 37 in the Emerging Housing Markets Index for winter 2022. The only other metro area in Alabama in the top 50 is Huntsville which is number 8.

Career & Workforce Expo highlights career paths, opportunities

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

On February 8th, more than 800 high school students from six school systems in Morgan and Limestone Counties attended the annual Career & Workforce Expo. The event was held at Kelley Gymnasium on the Calhoun Community College Decatur Campus. More than 50 local business and industry partners in high demand careers spoke with the juniors and seniors throughout the day about job opportunities and what types of education choices they need to make to be able to fill those positions.

The day-long event was a partnership between the Chamber, the Morgan County Economic Development Association, the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, and Calhoun Community College. Thank you to our presenting sponsor Jackson Plumbing Heating Cooling, our golden ticket sponsor Gobble-Fite Lumber Co. Inc. and gold sponsors Joe Wheeler EMC, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, and Sparks Energy.

Emerging Leaders discuss how to use social media to inspire engagement

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Social Media Manager Melea Hames of Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and Owner of M and M Social spoke to the Chamber's Emerging Leaders young professionals development class on February 2 at the Chamber's Contractor Service & Fabrication Board Room. Hames discussed with the group of more than 15 on how businesses can use social media to reach new customers and help grow their business. Hames shared tips on how specific social media posts can help businesses connect with their customers and inspire engagement. Examples included posing about what inspires you, what makes your life easier and sharing your accomplishments.

The end of the luncheon provided an opportunity for a question and answers session where Hames provided five tips on how to handle negative comments on social media.

The Chamber’s Endless Opportunities event helps eighth graders develop career goals, envision success

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

At the Decatur–Morgan County Chamber of Commerce’s Endless Opportunities hands-on career expo event, students will get the chance to take part in career opportunity “worlds” connected to the 16 career clusters identified by the State of Alabama. Each student’s worlds are a result of their interest inventory captured through the Kuder Navigator System – administered as part of the school curricula – and student choice.

Chamber announces staff updates

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Crystal Brown, president and CEO of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, announced today that Director of Communications Grant Thompson will be leaving his current position Oct. 22 to pursue another strategic communications opportunity; Denice Marco will transition from Chief Financial Officer to the newly created position of Director of Program Development effective immediately; and Leissa Chittam – who retired from the Chamber as Chief Financial Officer in January after 29 years with the organization – will serve in a temporary role as Director of Finance until the position is filled.

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