While the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has served Peach State business interests for over 100 years, it’s easy to think of it as an Metro Atlanta institution. After all their headquarters are downtown, their biggest members are in and around the city, and most of their advocacy goes on under the Gold Dome. Well think again.
On Monday the Georgia Chamber opened its first ever regional office in Tifton, a town of just 17,000 in South Georgia just east of Albany. The Georgia Chamber Center for Rural Prosperity, as the new office is called, seeks to serve rural communities who face their own set of challenges that often differs from those up I-75 in Atlanta. The Georgia legislature has taken steps to address some of those issues in recent sessions, and the Georgia Chamber is right behind them to help.
“There are racial issues in some communities that need to be addressed,” said Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “A growing income inequity in all of Georgia. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is nonexistent.”
The office will also better allow the Chamber to interface with rural chambers of commerce and help meet their needs. The Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce played a big role in helping their parent chapter to set up shop in Tifton, and local businesses Lithonia Lighting, Beaulieu Flooring, Ashley’s Business Solutions, and Aaron’s, Inc. all pitched in with materials and labor to help get the new office operational.
“We’ve set out on a mission to make a renewed commitment to all of rural Georgia,” said Clark of his team’s newest endeavor. “This new resource will stand as a center for rural economic prosperity and we’re dedicated to working with our friends and partners here in the South.”