By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Chamber of Commerce returned to Fincastle last week with new digs and a new website.
The recent move presents Botetourt County residents with the opportunity to come out and interact with the Chamber staff next week. On April 14, the Chamber will hold an open house event for the community to enjoy and learn more about the Chamber’s recent move, activities, and plans for 2022.
The new office is located in the old Bank of Fincastle administrative offices on S. Roanoke Street. The Chamber’s new location is filled with offices to provide their staff and the community with an opportunity to work together in a spacious environment.
The new office features two co-lab offices – an office space for individuals to work in a shared space to call their own. As it continues to grow, the technology department plans to add amenities in the offices to fit better the needs of residents using the space.
There is a conference area that Chamber members and Botetourt residents can use to meet with clients.
“This (new office) is through the benevolence of First Bank and their leadership,” Chamber Executive Director Khari Ryder said during a recent tour of the new offices. “They didn’t want to sell the building, which attributes to their sponsorship. They’re vision partners because their vision is to see the Chamber with a dedicated office space.”
Ryder explained that First Bank saw the old admin offices as a way to bring the Chamber back to the county seat. As soon as the building was available to Ryder and his staff, they began making preparations to relocate.
Not only is this a move of convenience for the Botetourt community, but also the Chamber as a business. The Chamber stationing itself back in Fincastle allows it to be closer to Historic Fincastle Inc., the Botetourt History Museum, and local businesses to work closely to bring about new ideas and events within Botetourt County.
The new offices have a “staging area” that helps them prepare for ribbon-cutting events and their signature events throughout the year like the Golf Classic and the Tinsel Trail.
Lawrence Companies helped the Chamber with the move. Ryder spent the last couple of weeks consolidating the “little stuff” in the office, while Lawrence moved the larger pieces from Daleville to Fincastle. Ryder then followed the movers with everything else needed to relocate to the new Fincastle offices.
“I wanted this office to maintain doing business but wanted to hit the ground running (the following week) with no interruption in operation, and we made it,” Ryder mentioned when explaining the relocation process.
Ryder feels this new move achieves multiple things. From a businessman’s perspective, Ryder sets the Chamber up to make additional income for future existence, solidity, and financial comfort. On the other hand, Ryder wants the Chamber to benefit its members. He knows there is a lot the Chamber has to offer the community.
Members should expect upcoming social media “blasts” highlighting forthcoming Chamber events and local business activities. Most Chambers get by doing things like monetization, but at the same time, at a low enough rate, people could include the Chamber in their marketing budget and already be prepared to renew.
“I’m trying to make so many things so simple but at the same time beneficial, which, at the end of the day, equals the Chamber’s ability to remain, to be successful, to give back, and be more entrenched in what it does within the area,” Ryder added.
The Chamber’s new website presents a more streamlined navigation system allowing members and non-members to learn more about the Chamber’s activities. The taskbar features tabs for events, membership, sponsors, resources, scholarship opportunities, and more.
To discover the new Botetourt Chamber of Commerce website, visit botetourtchamber.com. The Chamber’s open house is on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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