Chamber of Commerce to honor members on Friday

Published 9:00 am Friday, May 19, 2023

May is National Small Business Month, and May 19 is the first night of Rock the Block in Winchester.

The Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce has found a way to recognize both.

Along with being one of the organizations to sponsor Rock the Block, they will host a free 2023 Chamber Member Appreciation Event from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at its office on 61 S. Main Street.

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Attendees can expect to find hors d’oeuvres and much more.

“We’ve never done this before, but it’s kind of magic,” said Cindy Banks, Executive Director of the Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce. “Over 82% of my 415 [current] members have less than ten employees, that’s a big thing.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week from April 30-May 6.

The year 2023 represents the 70th anniversary of the agency and the 60th anniversary of the year when then-President John F. Kennedy proclaimed it.

Presently, numerous banners along Main Street represent corporate sponsors and other businesses, all of whom have been well-appreciated and recognized by the Chamber.

Earlier this month, Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed read a proclamation to honor businesses throughout May.

Consisting of more than 400 businesses, including Satisfaction Pools, LLC, Perkins’ Auto Detailing, Amy’s Asian Kitchen, The Barre: Fitness Boutique, celebrating small business accomplishments only felt appropriate.

“It took me a decade to get over 400 members,” Banks said. “Once [we] reached that, it was like, ‘Yes, finally!’”

Many members have supported the community in dedicated ways – philanthropically or otherwise – to help it thrive.

During the pandemic, several challenges occurred though many businesses continued to provide opportunities.

According to a recent proclamation, over 50% of the nation’s workers are estimated to be employed through small businesses.

“That just proves that small businesses [are] pretty much what makes up the community,” Banks added. “Small businesses are the heartbeat. That’s just it. Plain and simple.”