The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce has five primary committees responsible for planning a variety of programs, events, and functions throughout each year. Committee participation is entirely voluntary, and committee members share a passion for the good of the coolest corner of North Carolina and its people. Does this sound like an interest you share? Call the Chamber today at (336) 846-9550 for more information and to learn how to get involved!
Although plans are now being made for the 32nd Blue Ridge Brutal, this is the newest committee to join the Ashe County Chamber docket. Formerly a project of the Ashe County Civic Center, the Chamber agreed to take on organizing this event in 2019 due to its social and fiscal effects on our county. With 400 riders in 2021 and a total economic impact of approximately $190,000 for the region, the Brutal is a fantastic event for the coolest corner to host, while also serving as a fundraiser for the Ashe Advantage Project, the Chamber’s non-profit scholarship program for local students.
As its name implies, this committee actively seeks new ways to support the business and local community in Ashe County. Some of its sponsored programs include Leadership Ashe, Connect Ashe, and Ashe County Young Professionals, as well as the Small Business Consulting Group, which pairs expert mentors with individuals and businesses requesting free and confidential guidance. These services are available to anyone in Ashe County, so please feel free to contact the Chamber for more information about any programs mentioned above.
The Education Committee plans and oversees the Dick Miller Youth Leadership Program, which empowers high school juniors and seniors to become responsible civic leaders in their community by learning about its heritage, current challenges, and future potential. In partnership with the Ashe Advantage Project, this committee also facilitates the Chamber’s scholarship program, awarding funds for post-secondary education to Ashe County High School, homeschooled, and Ashe Early College seniors.
Focusing on programs that benefit the Chamber’s membership and recognizing local businesses and individuals for jobs well done in the community are the key roles of the Member Services Committee. It is responsible for planning three annual events: the Outrageously Good Customer Service Breakfast, the Small Business of the Year Award Luncheon, and the Annual Meeting. Other yearly awards programs include the Non-Profit of the Year and the Cabot Hamilton Community Advocacy Award. This committee is also involved in the beloved Bessie Clay annual ornament series.
With 2020 tourism spending in Ashe County totaling over $82 million, thoughtful and continued investment in tourism is crucial for the ongoing success of this industry in Ashe County. The Chamber's Tourism Committee is the focal point for county-wide tourism efforts, including the Devil's Stairs motorcycle loop, digital advertising campaigns, viral videos showcasing Ashe County highlights, thorough social media management, and MerleFest sponsorship. As a result of tourism spending, each Ashe County resident enjoys nearly $250 in tax savings each year, so tourism to the coolest corner of North Carolina means lots of good sense - and cents!