Registration Open for Tourism Society Spring Session


Registration is now open for Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce's Explore Eastern Shore Tourism Society Spring session. This is such a fun way to experience our community. 


What is the Explore Eastern Shore Tourism Society?

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Explore Eastern Shore Tourism Society teaches you all about local events, attractions & destinations. Our goal is to support tourism in our area while encouraging community involvement from locals. We hope that Tourism Society members will have a blast exploring the Eastern Shore and will share their experiences with tourists they encounter, friends and family. Each session includes three program days that include speakers, a trade show, attraction tours & graduation.


Spring Session Dates:

March 28 - Speakers & Trade Show

April 25 - Tour Date

May 20 - Graduation


Who is an ideal participant?

  • Front-line hospitality employees who greet and refer visitors to local attractions, restaurants &
  • activities.
  • Locals who are a constant cheerleader for the Eastern Shore and love sharing fun things to do.
  • Those interested in volunteering at local tourism events.

 

There is a participation fee of $50 to cover meals.

 

Link to sign up for Spring Session: https://goo.gl/forms/yaSFtE5Y7ZYYNRyt1


 




2018 Annual Award Nominations


Do you know a business making an incredible impact on our community or going the extra mile to protect our valuable environment? Please nominate them for an Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce 2018 Annual Awards.

Small Business of the Year:

This year’s Small Business of the Year will be selected among the Small Business of the Month recipients. Nominees include Southern View Media (Hummingbird & South), Old Tyme Feed, The Happy Olive, Sexton Lawn & Landscape, Alliance Publishing Group and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. We ask that you cast your vote for that category.

Small Business of the Year

 

Community Leader Award:

Each year, the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recognizes a local community leader who provides ongoing service to the community, demonstrates respect for employees and staff, is dedicated to customer/client service and has a deep interest in advancing or promoting his or her profession or field of work. 

Community Leader Award Nomination

 

Environmental Award:

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Environmental Award recognizes a business that is going above and beyond to protect the Eastern Shore's valuable resource: our environment.

Environmental Award Nomination

 

Award Eligibility Requirements:

·          Nominee must have been in business for at least three years.

·          Nominee must be a current member, in good standing, of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.

·          Nominee must have been continually a member for the past three years.

 

Self-nominations are encouraged. Select the nomination form below to enter your nomination by close of business January 11, 2019.

The award winners will be announced at the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Celebration, February 7, 2019 at the Grand Hotel.  The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce will also recognize the Ambassador of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and Service Award winner based on involvement and dedication to the Chamber’s goals & initiatives.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Chamber office at 251-928-6387.





The Eastern Shore Elf is Back to Promote Local Shops


The award-winning Eastern Shore Elf is back for another year of fun and prizes! Each day between Black Friday and December 23, the Eastern Shore Elf will be visiting & highlighting a different Eastern Shore retailer. We’ll use the Eastern Shore Chamber’s social media reach to tell shoppers about the many wonderful local shops and attract them to your store.

Our team has been brainstorming the best ways to reach the biggest possible customer base and will once again be offering daily prizes and a grand prize basket at the end of the shopping season.

 

Ways to Win:

Like & Comment Giveaway:
Each night we will use a photo of the elf with your store’s prize to announce where he will be the following day. This post will also announce any promotions you want to run that day in your store (20% off of holiday pajamas, free gift with purchase, it’s up to you.) We will encourage shoppers to like the stores page, the Chamber’s page & tag 2 friends in the comments to be entered to win your store’s giveaway prize. We don’t want to limit you on your store’s prize selection, but we do ask that stores give away an item with at least a $25 value. The more tempting the prize, the better results you’ll get.

Grand Prize Basket:
Each participating store will be asked to donate a prize worth at least $10 to the Grand Prize Basket. On the day the elf is in your store, we’ll encourage people to come in to shop. Anyone who posts a picture of the elf in the comment section of the facebook post will get an entry into the Grand Prize Drawing. The goal is to get shoppers in your store.

Get Creative:
This is an opportunity to be creative with your marketing efforts this holiday shopping season. Come up with a fun or mischievous way to pose the elf while he’s in your store. Share selfies with him throughout the day. Just have fun with it! 

Something new this year: Since the elf’s schedule won’t be a secret this year, we’ll provide you with an elf calendar so people can easily follow along throughout the shopping season, a poster for you to hang in your shop window, and pre-made social media graphics you can use to let your followers know when he’s coming to your shop.

Is there a cost to participate?
It is free for businesses to take part in the Eastern Shore Elf promotion, but we do ask that retailers contribute a giveaway item worth at least $25 and a prize basket item worth at least $10. The better the prizes, the better participation.

How do I sign up?
We want all of our local stores to get in on the fun & take advantage of this marketing opportunity, but space is limited to 31 Eastern Shore Chamber members. Dates will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. So, go ahead and sign up.

Click here to Register





Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Wins November Small Business of the Month


The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Spanish Fort as our November Small Business of the Month.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is known for being a huge community supporter. The restaurant donates thousands of dollars each year to various organization including schools, sports teams and charities. They hold spirit nights that help these organizations raise money. They’re also quick to donate food to help out local groups with their fundraisers. You can even find them often at high school football games with their mascot to boost team spirit and community pride.

Not only is Beef ‘O’ Brady’s considered a community-wide dinner table, they offer an incredible catering menu, with space to reserve for larger groups and parties. Their family-friendly atmosphere is welcoming for families as well as sports fans hoping to catch the big game.

Their focus on the community has meant major growth for Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. They’re on their way to a record year, with profits up a significant amount from last year.

To learn more about Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Spanish Fort, visit their facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BeefOBradysSFAL/.

 





City of Fairhope Holds Visual Preference Survey Process to Gather Feedback for Future Development


FAIRHOPE, AL— The city of Fairhope could soon be getting an improved look, and they need the input of their residents.

Visual Preference Survey Workshops:

Public Session #1
Thursday, November 8th
City of Fairhope City Council Chamber
5:30 - 6:45PM

Public Session #2 
Friday, November 9th
City of Fairhope City Council Chamber
12:00 - 1:15PM

With contributions from the Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) in the form of a Smart Growth Grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the city will bring in a consultant to lead a Visual Preference Survey (VPS). It will include two workshops open to the public and an online survey.

The VPS technique is designed to show pictures of different development concepts like mixed use, street design, landscaping, and more. This technique relies on community and stakeholder collaboration to drive the results of the survey.

The City of Fairhope is the fastest growing city in the state of Alabama, at a 27% growth rate. "The biggest concern of our constituents when I took office was our unprecedented growth,” said Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson. "The city of Fairhope is the fastest growing city in the State of Alabama and while we cannot prevent growth, we can certainly manage it with proper planning. This Visual Preference Survey process is a vital step to ensuring that the regulations we update are aligned with not only best practices in planning, but also the vision of our citizens. The timing could not be better as we lead into a new Comprehensive Land Use planning process funded by Restore funds.”

Images used during the survey in these workshops may be local images or outside sourced images to illustrate specific conditions. Alternatives and various options for future development will be generated from these examples.

City Council President Jack Burrell said "The North Greeno Road corridor is the gateway to our City and it is imperative that we strike the right balance between development and aesthetics. We must be cognitive of the rights of property owners while maintaining a visually appealing entrance to Fairhope. We also want to ensure that we are limiting congestion and providing the safest driving and pedestrian environments that we can.”

This project is focused on educating decision makers, stakeholders, and the public about Smart Growth principles using examples and images. It is an important exercise for the intended purpose, but also because Fairhope will be embarking in a comprehensive land use planning process within the next 18 months funded by Restore Act funding from the BP oil spill settlement. The VPS will help prepare stakeholders for the extensive processes that will be part of the comprehensive land use plan.

One specific part of this survey will address Highway 98, also known as Greeno Road. There are several properties that are zoned residential, and the city is looking to add consistency to the development of Greeno Road as well as keeping the uses of these properties consistent with each other.





Hatch Fairhope Announces Grand Opening


FAIRHOPE, ALA. – The City of Fairhope, the Baldwin Community and Economic Development Foundation and The University of Alabama announce "Hatch,” a downtown business resource hub that will provide guidance and links to statewide resources for tech entrepreneurs in the early stages of forming a startup company, will open in the Fairhope community on November 2.

Hatch is a new vehicle created to empower the tech entrepreneur community and aims to foster entrepreneurial culture, develop a resource ecosystem and connect The University of Alabama resources with emerging tech companies across the state. As part of "Technology Villages,” a program that assists communities in constructing and operating these storefront incubators to encourage growth of local technology-based businesses, Hatch has developed a strong list of program services to provide the community.

"Since Fairhope’s beginning, the city has attracted entrepreneurs and independent thinkers,” said Karin Wilson, Fairhope mayor. "Many cities spend considerable effort to develop ‘think tanks.’ Our City has always been a think tank – an innovation district. And Fairhope has always been citizen-driven. The people who live here – whether they moved here recently or are longtime residents – want to contribute their time, ideas and energy.

That’s why we believe that Fairhope is the perfect place to launch Hatch and we are excited to support and partner with The University of Alabama and the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance on this initiative.”

The program services consist of risk evaluation and development model, IP and technology review and collaboration, market and technology sector database access, high-speed internet and workspace opportunities, sound operations and business planning, local entrepreneurial networking, national talent and resources, corporate partnering (marketing, research, manufacturing) and favorable venture and funding sources.

Located on the second floor of the BBVA Compass building on Section Street in downtown Fairhope, Hatch has undergone renovations for the past several months to create a space to be utilized for co-working and to bring innovation into the workplace. Through the partnership with Coastal Alabama Community College, Baldwin Community and Economic Development Foundation and The City of Fairhope, Hatch is able to open its doors to the tech community.

"I’m excited about the University’s strategic partnerships with Fairhope,” said Stuart R. Bell, The University of Alabama president. "One of our primary goals as Alabama’s flagship is to increase activities that drive economic development for our state. As we reach out to emerging tech businesses in these areas, we look forward to helping small businesses thrive and bolster their local economies.”

The Technology Villages program is based on a five-year pilot conducted in five South Carolina cities by Clemson University under its Institute of Community and Economic Development. Programs in Bluffton and Rock Hill created an estimated 12 to 14 companies in the first 18 months and close to 70 new jobs with an estimated payroll of $2.8 million.

The program is unique in its structure, operating as both a traditional incubator and as a startup resource hub where entrepreneurs receive real-time distance entrepreneurial learning with hands-on consulting support. The program will also link Fairhope and Baldwin County to intellectual property resources, seed financing and corporate partnering relationships.

"Growing entrepreneurial companies has always been part of our strategy and Hatch now provides the place and hub to implement and deliver on that strategy,” said Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. "Hatch will be viable because of its channeled focus and partnership with UA. It is particularly important for a region that doesn’t have a heavy economic development footprint from a four-year university.”

For more information about Hatch Fairhope, visit hatchfairhope.com or call 251.270.2670.








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