Business people and community members work collaboratively for the betterment of their area, making up the backbone of hundreds of Chambers of Commerce across America.
Brad Calloway is the third generation owner of Raeford Hardware on Oakwood Avenue. In 2012, he purchased it from his father and grandfather and has become a key part of City and Hoke County life since.
Raeford-Hoke Chamber’s mission is to serve and represent business interests professionally, while fostering economic development, leading community affairs initiatives and working to enhance quality of life for Hoke County citizens.
Members of the chamber include local businesses with an interest in improving the community, while its board of directors encompasses an eclectic group with varied professional experiences and backgrounds – yet each member remains dedicated to further developing both the chamber and its membership.
Raeford is situated in central North Carolina and is bordered by Rockfish Creek, an east-flowing tributary of Cape Fear River. Toneys Creek flows south from Toneys Park as part of Lumber River-Pee Dee River-Waccamaw River watershed system.
Raeford is home to numerous historic buildings, including an 1894 courthouse that dates back to a variety of purposes such as post office, library and town hall use; meeting place during Civil War days; now used as museum – it has even made the National Register of Historic Places! Open Monday-Saturday; admission free!
Hoke County Chamber of Commerce hosts various events throughout the year to advance business interests in Hoke County, with their Economic Outlook Dinner set for 6:30 pm Thursday, August 18 at Robert A. Wright Hoke County Agricultural Center featuring catered food from Logan’s Roadhouse as well as guest speaker Hoke County Sheriff Roderick Virgil – tickets cost $10 each person for entry.
On Saturday, several local businesses will come together at the chamber’s Expo event that was put off due to the pandemic, in order to connect job seekers and employers. Held at the county parking lot, Chamber Director Liz McNeill has noted that members may set up information booths free while nonmembers must pay a fee in order to do so.
Hoke Healthcare has been actively engaging in community events, such as the Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. Velvette Jones, Marketing and Communications Manager for Hoke Healthcare said that interactions they’ve experienced at these events have been eye-opening; many of those they meet don’t have primary care physicians; these interactions represent their first contact with health care systems.
Raeford and Hoke County has always relied heavily on its businesses since its formation. The Raeford-Hoke Chamber works to attract businesses and industries to the area, supporting economic development efforts. Members advocate for pro-business policies and regulations at local, state, and federal levels while tourism promoters use chamber events to bring visitors who spend money at nearby restaurants, hotels, shops or other local businesses.
An economy relies on having enough jobs available. Without jobs, people cannot afford goods and services; when the Chamber succeeds in attracting new businesses to its community, their economy thrives.
House of Raeford plant’s closure was a devastating blow to Hoke County’s economy. Motorists on East Central Avenue quickly learned to slow for hair-netted workers rushing across from its parking lot wearing rubber work boots; some downtown storefronts closed, forcing recruitment efforts of Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber offers a Business Retention & Recruitment Program (BRE). This initiative aids local companies in becoming more cost-competitive and growing without moving elsewhere, thus fulfilling our mission as an organization that has always prioritized relationships, information sharing and connections.
Most cities and towns across America feature groups of individuals working tirelessly to make an impactful difference in their community. Although they might not hold public office or corporate titles, these people form the backbone of local Chambers of Commerce across the nation – known as volunteers and staff – which work tirelessly to foster economic development, improve quality of life for regional residents, provide leadership on community affairs issues, promote economic growth and enhance quality of life overall.
The Chamber’s Government Affairs team provides its members with a platform to advocate their business interests and community needs with local, county, state, and federal governments. They accomplish this through the Government Affairs Advisory Council, roundtable discussions, and surveys that assess proposed government policies at all levels (city, county, state and federal).
The Chamber’s nonpartisan committee develops agendas and actively tracks legislation that may impact its membership and businesses by engaging regional legislators, soliciting input from members, and hosting legislative focused programming. Their Government Affairs team keeps members and the general public abreast of issues that could affect them financially; hosting annual Raeford-Hoke Economic Outlook Dinners educate them on what’s happening both locally and nationally regarding legislation which may impact them directly.