We are an active Chamber that works to advance its members’ growth and prosperity, and provide increased opportunities and value for its membership. The Chamber advocates for and unites the business community, conveys business interests to policy-makers, and advances the region’s economic health. We serve as the voice of business.
The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce advocates on behalf of the business community and educates business leaders about public policy issues relevant to their business.
As a Chamber in the Upstate, we are a member of the Upstate Chamber Coalition, a coalition made up of 13 upstate chambers of commerce coming together advocating for local businesses on all levels of government. Lead by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, the full-time business lobbyists:
- work to prevent anti-business legislation
- advocate for pro-business legislation through our legislative agenda
- research and develop solutions to address business concerns
- work closely with other business advocacy organizations to look out for the best interests of our investors, and
- send out to call-to-actions for investors to influence public policy
While most of the attention is spent working with the South Carolina General Assembly, the Coalition also works closely with our local governments and with our Congressional delegation.
The Coalition works to ensure the business community has a strong voice, they also work to educate business leaders about the issues. They:
- send regular email updates on public policy topics and news
- blog regularly about issues, advocacy, and ways to get involved
- conduct the annual Upstate Political Leadership Institute for members of the business community interested in running for public office
- hold quarterly events that get you face-to-face with political leaders, and
- run at least two in-depth summits on policy topics a year.
The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Education & Workforce Readiness is a partnership with Cherokee County Schools, and KNOW(2), which functions as a liaison between business and educational groups to offer opportunities for communication and to develop programs and activities that will prepare students for productive careers within our community.
We have a goal to inform educators and students of quality, high-pay, high-skill careers available in Cherokee County and the career pathways necessary to attain those jobs. We also assist postsecondary educators in the development of curriculum and industry certification to meet the skillsets required.
On the flip side, the Chamber brings noted experts, speakers, and leaders to share their knowledge and expertise with the Cherokee County business community. Offered in a number of formats (Friday features, one-on-one sessions, etc), the educational events cover timely business management topics to increase the skills and knowledge of business owners and their staff.
We partner with Spartanburg Community College Cherokee Campus and the South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Center to offer on-the-job training for employees.
In addition, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce partnered with the community, education, and government leaders to create the Hall of Success to show that quality education is attainable in Cherokee County. Displays honoring the inductees are placed in the schools to inspire current students and they are also displayed at the School District Office for those who visit this community.
Be Encouraged Entrepreneurs
By learning the needs of Cherokee County businesses, the Chamber determines what a new company needs in order to be successful in this market. The Chamber then works to meet all needs by helping businesses access the resources for success.
- bGen (The Business Generator) is an arm of KNOW(2) as a business incubator, motivating local entrepreneurs to take initiative, engage, and guide the growing startup community. It’s a place where an entrepreneur can go from an early-stage startup into a growing, profitable business. Whether an entrepreneur needs the support of the two-year incubation program or just needs a space to work alongside other startups, Manager Brian Ziegelheafer (Zig) can help.
- The Winthrop Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a cooperative partnership between the US Small Business Administration, the State of South Carolina, and Winthrop College. SBDC provides free business counseling and is prepared to assist in identifying grant and attractive loan opportunities. Find resources for starting a new business, as well as consulting, resources, and training to help existing businesses.
- National Association for the Self-Employed: Direct access to experts, benefits, and consolidated buying power that traditionally had been available only to large corporations.
- Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center: Resources for taxpayers who file Form 1040, Schedules C, E, F, or Form 2106, as well as small businesses with assets under $10 million.
- Small Business Administration (SBA): Whether you’re already up and running or just getting started, the SBA can help.
- SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives): Free business counseling services offered by appointment. SCORE also offers webinars and workshops in the area.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Provides free consultations to assist existing businesses and help them as they grow. They also help aspiring entrepreneurs develop business plans to prepare to find financing and get their ventures open for business.
Chambers play a significant role in the economic development process of their community. The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to bringing the community and its leaders together to create jobs and strengthen the economy and quality of life so businesses and the community can achieve more. Our goal is to help local businesses expand, grow a small business, recruit new businesses, create a more educated workforce, and revitalize our communities and infrastructure.
We also partner with Spartanburg Community College Cherokee Campus, Limestone College, the City of Gaffney, the Town of Blacksburg, the Cherokee County Development Board, and the Cherokee County Administration to help meet that goal.
Talent and Workforce
In today’s marketplace, having the right people on your team is critical. We support an effective, customer-driven workforce system that facilitates financial stability and economic prosperity for employers, individuals, and our community.
The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce partners with several organizations to help support that notion, and who provide a wide array of employment services such as job listings, screening potential applicants, WorkKeys assessments, On the Job training, WorkKeys Job Profiling, Local Labor Market Data, and more.
In addition, the Chamber works with the local school district, as well as Spartanburg Community College and Limestone College to assist students in field placement opportunities.
Quality of Life
Cherokee County is an outstanding place in which to live, work, and grow a business. Whether you’re visiting for the day, looking for a new place to call home, or you’re already a resident of our thriving community, Blacksburg and Gaffney are quaint little towns with a big heart and plenty of opportunities. From parks and trails to museums, shops, and entertainment, there’s plenty to do as we sit along the I85 corridor at the North/South Carolinas’ state line, minutes away from the Blue Ridge Mountains or a few hours away from the beautiful southern beaches.
For everything, you can do here, visit this page.
"Shaping Cherokee County's Future With Promising Leadership"
Leadership Cherokee and Junior Leadership Cherokee is a comprehensive program designed to locate, cultivate, and motivate a new generation of leadership for Cherokee County. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Hamrick Mills Foundation, the program consists of eight sessions that explore the history and makeup of the community, current issues, and Cherokee County’s potential for the future. The sessions include sessions on history, government, economic development, health, and human services, and education. The Leadership class consists of individuals with demonstrated leadership abilities who want to increase their knowledge of the community, become more involved in community activities, and improve their leadership skills.
Candidates may apply directly to the Chamber or be nominated by Leadership alumni or members of the Chamber. Junior Leadership participants apply directly to the guidance counselor at their individual schools or click link below.
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Junior Ambassadors
The Junior Ambassadors are high school students participating in a community service club. It is open to all students in grades 9-12. The JUNIOR AMBASSADORS are dedicated to helping those in the community and changing lives for the better. Not only does it help the people they serve, but it also helps to shape and prepare the students for their future. It can help them learn responsibility, time management, hard work, dedication, and commitment.