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Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

September 2008 Chamber Insights: Complete issue

Editor and feature writer: Sue Stivers
President's Message: Donna Stotts
Feature Writer: Dan Koger, Arlinda Kessler, Ramie Hutchison

The Purpose of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce is to Promote and Enhance the Business, Cultural, Educational and Civic Well Being of Columbia and Adair County. Thought for the Month:

"When we dream alone, it is only a dream,
But when we dream together,
It is the beginning of reality."

President's Message

The Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce would like to express appreciation to all the volunteers and Chamber businesses for making "Wares Fair 2008" a huge success. The faculty and students of Lindsey Wilson College bring so much to our community and we wish them well as they begin a new year.

The Adair County Board of Education has also begun a new school year for 2008-2009. Please be cautious as we approach school buses and heavy traffic around school areas.

Our Chamber is teaming with Kentucky ASAP to co-sponsor a "Wish List Event" for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Louisville and Lexington. We are asking for participation from all businesses, schools, churches, civic organizations, and individuals. Help us honor so many Adair County families that have been able to have a home away from home in their time of need. We are asking for items, not money. The items will need to be dropped off at the Chamber Building on October 2, from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. Contact the Chamber office at 384-6020, Donna Stotts at 384-6433, or Ellen Zornes at 384-3400 for more information.

The 18th Annual Christmas in Columbia is already in the planning stages. We need your ideas and your time to make this year the best ever. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 23 at 4:00 PM at the Chamber office.

Goals To Transform Kentucky

It was a red letter day in Columbia on Tuesday, September 16 when Dave Adkisson, President/CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce visited Columbia and was guest speaker at the Chamber's monthly meeting.

President Adkisson talked about A New Agenda for Kentucky: Five Goals To Transform Kentucky. From a list of 100 ideas contributed, the Task Force chose the following 5 goals to transform Kentucky for the coming year:
  1. Preparing Kentucky to successfully compete in the global marketplace.
  2. Improving the education attainment of Kentuckians at all levels.
  3. Expanding Kentucky's role as an energy leader.
  4. Promoting wellness and healthy Kentuckians.
  5. Modernizing government at all levels.
With the top five goals, the number one priority goal chosen was improving the education attainment of Kentuckians at all levels.

If you would like a copy of the "New Agenda...Great Ideas for Kentucky, stop by the Chamber office, 201 Burkesville Street in Columbia and pick up a free copy.

Corporate Sponsor of the Month - South Central Designs

The Chamber expresses thanks and appreciation to South Central Designs for being Corporate Sponsor of the September Monthly Chamber Meeting.

South Central Designs is owned by Benton Fudge and his office is located at 306 Public Square. Benton is an Adair County native where he graduated from Adair County High School. After graduating from Bowling Green Technical College with a degree in Mechanical Drafting, he returned to College and got a degree in Architectural Drafting.

His first job was with a construction company in Glasgow where he worked designing commercial buildings. After 2 years, he decided to open his own business...South Central Designs. Having his own business for 3 1/2 years, Fudge has designed approximately 300 projects.

South Central Designs is an Architectural Drafting and Design Company specializing in custom house plans. Fudge said, "no house plan is perfect. People get a plan but there are always changes to be made." He went on to say that he has had people bring plans sketched out on a piece of grid paper or even a napkin. One couple brought in just a wall paper sample that had a house on it that they liked, said Fudge.

South Central Designs also does custom designing for commercial buildings, such as Banks, office buildings, Dr. offices, gymnasiums, churches, apartments and much more. He has designed projects not only throughout Kentucky but also in Ohio and Tennessee. Another service offered is 3D renderings of the project so it can be viewed in full color before the project is even started.

For additional information on South Central designs visit their web site at or by phone at 270-384-1910, or visit the office at 306 Public Square in Columbia.

New Member Highlights

The Chamber would like to Welcome 2 new members to the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Agape House - Pregnancy Resource Center - Director Stephanie Caldwell - 312 Jamestown Street - 270-634-3556
  • Vision Communications, Inc. - Communication Solutions - Owners Tim Loy and Jim Symmes - 414 Public Square - 270-384-1690
By joining the Chamber, you become a part of an organization that is dedicated to the economic growth and prosperity of Columbia and Adair County. Your investment in the Chamber means an "investment" in "your community". This is your Chamber...your voice in our community...helping to make Columbia-Adair County "A Good Place To Call Home".

Ribbon Cutting

The Chamber will have a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, October 3 at 10:00 AM at Vision Communications, Inc. - located at 414 Public Square in Columbia. Owners are Jim Symmes and Tim Loy. They can be reached by calling 384-1690 or emailing at Chamber members are encouraged to attend and the public is invited.

Schedule Of Events For The Month
  • Oct. 2 - Ronald McDonald Project - 4:00 to 7:00 PM - Parking Lot behind the Chamber Building
  • Oct. 3 - Ribbon Cutting - Vision Communications - 414 Public Square - 10:00 AM - Owners Tim Loy and Jim Symmes
  • Oct. 11 & 12 - Downtown Days and Folklore of the Old West Festivals
  • Oct. 21 - Monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting - 11:45 AM at Lindsey Wilson College Dining Center - Guest Speakers: Governor's Scholars & Roger Scholar
  • Oct. 31 - Halloween - Treats On The Town - Public Square - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Looking Ahead......Christmas In Columbia Week-End

Plans are being made for Christmas In Columbia Week-End scheduled for December 6th and 7th, to be "Bigger and Better" than ever as participation in this year's event is expected to be at an all time high, according to Donna Stotts and Arlinda Kessler, Co-Chairs for this event.

The theme is "Christmas Around The World". Churches, organizations, schools and other groups are encouraged to start planning their float. Let's set a record for the number of floats in the "Parade Under The Lights". There will also be non-float, and out of county divisions. All entries must be registered by December 1, 2008.

In addition to the Arts, Crafts and Goodies booths, Santa's Dream Shop, and all the traditional activities, several new events are being planned. Sunday afternoon, Dec. 7th will be the "Home Tour" sponsored by the Columbia Woman's Club, and open house at the Highland Raku Studio and Gallery, and The Heart's Image Studio and Gallery.

If you would like to volunteer to serve on one of the 14 committees, you may call the Chamber of Commerce office at 384-2090 or come by the office located at 201 Burkesville Street. The more volunteers involved assures a bigger and better event.

Plan to attend. Mark your calendar for the first week-end in December. Bring your family and friends. Join in the fun of the holiday festivities as we share "Christmas Around The World".

Chamber Of Commerce and Duo-County Telecom Partnership A Success

As the adults exited the computer lab at the Adair County Chamber of Commerce building the night of August 26th, Duo-County Telecom employees Ramie Hutchison and Jeron Wall knew that the class was a success.

However, this was no ordinary class. This was the first Duo-County Telecom Internet Clinic, which educated 10 Adair County residents about browsing the World Wide Web.

With the help of Sue Stivers and the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce, Duo-County Telecom was able to further these residents' knowledge of the Internet, as well as become comfortable with the basic use of PC's.

"It was a good feeling to know that some of the students progressed from not being able to turn on a computer, to watching videos online", said Microsoft certified Duo-County employee Jeron Wall. "I really felt like a lot of people learned a lot of things".

Duo-County and the Chamber of Commerce is glad to help its community members gain educational information on computers or to help in any way. Keep watching the local newspapers,, Duo-County Channel 2 TV along with radio stations WAIN and The WAVE for future classes.

What Makes October Special?

October is just around the corner. It's a time when we celebrate Columbus Day, Boss's Day, Major League Playoffs, College and Pro Football, Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The month of October is all about change....the changing of the leaves along with the change in the weather. Let's not forget Columbus who found our continent and those ghouls and goblins that add fright to our nights.

It's also a time for businesses to make changes in their decor. Here are some tips that will help to boost sales in your business:
  • Use an "explore" theme during the week of Columbus Day.
  • The Major League baseball playoffs are held. Decorate in a baseball theme.
  • Offer "Howling Good Time" Halloween specials and activities.
  • Sponsor Halloween costume contests and offer prizes.
  • Partner with a local pumpkin patch to offer discounts and coupons to your guests or give away fall flower bulbs for planting.
  • In honor of National Breast Cancer month, offer a percentage off of certain items that are purchased from your business, and donate to Relay For Life or Breast Cancer Research.
Did You Know?

How much of your shopping dollar is retained in your community?

6 cents of every dollar spent with a Big Box retailer is retained/re-circulated in a community.

20 cents of every dollar spent with a chain store is retained/re-circulated in a community.

60 cents of every dollar spent with a sole proprietorship is retained/re-circulated in a community.

Identity Theft Tips
  • Do not keep your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
  • Do not put bills or checks in your home mailbox.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements regularly.
  • Check your credit report.
  • Shred all documents with personal information.
  • Never give personal information to someone on the phone, internet, or email that you don't know.
For more information on identity theft, check out the Better Business Bureau website at or call 1-800-388-2222.
Chamber Increases Economic Efforts As National Economy Tightens
By Dan Koger, LWC Communications Professor

As national economic conditions tighten, your local Chamber of Commerce can't make it cheaper to fill your gas tank or get you a higher assessment on your home.

What it can do, though, is help local businesses attract customers, sharpen their operating practices, prepare their area for long-term economic growth and find creative ways to attract and preserve jobs.

"Economic-improvement activities we've been working on for a long time at the Chamber are falling into place in time to help local businesses weather some challenging economic conditions", said Sue Stivers, Executive Director of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.

Local firms benefit simply by being Chamber members, Stivers said, citing a report issued recently by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

"Survey results in the report show that Chamber membership builds consumer confidence", Stivers said. "The more a business is involved in Chamber activities such as board or monthly meetings or event sponsorship, the more customer confidence climbs. This is a definite competitive edge".

How much of an edge? Businesses "highly involved" in Chamber activities could expect a 12-percent advantage in the perceived value of their products and services over the products and services of non-members. Nineteen percent of customers would be more likely to think favorably of the active member businesses in general.

"We want to build on this potential", Stivers said, "especially among our small-business members. We have a strong entrepreneurial spirit here in the Columbia-Adair County area. The Chamber is looking for every way possible to help would-be entrepreneurs get started successfully and help existing entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses".

To do this, for example, the Chamber taps into entrepreneur-education programs at the University of Kentucky and elsewhere. Job training and workforce development is a continuing local effort, with Lindsey Wilson College and other learning organizations expanding their involvement.

"A well-trained and committed workforce is a key ingredient in business success and in the challenging process of luring outside companies - and new jobs - to the area", Stivers said.

And how does the Kentucky Chamber's report view the potential of such small-business support activities? Here's a sample:

"Small business is the backbone of America and the bulk of Chamber memberships. The (survey) results for this segment are particularly striking. If a person knows that a small business is a member of the local chamber, the business will see a 44 percent increase in consumer favorability ratings, a 51 percent increase in consumer awareness, and a 63 percent increase in the likelihood of patronage".

"Those are powerful numbers", Stivers said. "Helping our small-business members is one of the best ways we can stimulate the local economy, retain jobs and add jobs".

Augmenting these efforts is the local tourism commission and its continuing efforts to increase local tourism.

"The Industrial Development Authority and our tourism programs represent more long-term approaches to economic development", Stivers said. "For example, at the Authority we'll be assessing the strengths of existing businesses and economic resources. Then we'll work with the community in developing an economic strategy that helps everyone in our area handle economic challenges, whether they come to us today - - - or tomorrow".

What this all means is that the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce is working hard to assure that the area stays economically strong, today and tomorrow.

This story was posted on 2008-09-23 08:59:48
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Mr. Treece, President David Adkisson

2008-09-23 - Cranmer Dining Center, Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY - Photo By Ed Waggener. photo.
KENTUCKY CHAMBER of COMMERCE PRESIDENT DAVID ADKISSON, right, and Adair County School Superintendent Darrell Treece renewed acquaintance after President Adkisson's address, "A New Agenda for Kentucky: Five Goals to Transform Kentucky," at the September Columbia Adair County Chamber meeting.

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September 2008 Chamber meeting: Drawing names

2008-09-23 - Roberta C. Cranmer Dining Center, Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY - Photo By Ed Waggener. photo.
SOUTH CENTRAL DESIGNS PRESIDENT BENTON FUDGE, and Columbia Adair County Chamber of Commerce President Donna Stotts drew names for door prizes at the September 2008 Chamber meeting. South Central Designs was the Corporate Sponsor for the September meeting.

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