Chamber 1

Tickets are still available for the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce member meeting on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sugg Street in front of the mural that will focus on the role retail has on the local economy.

Chamber President Libby Spencer said COVID-19 opened people’s eyes to how important retailers are for the community.

“We forget our retail community, especially during the pandemic, and how important they are to tourists,” she said.

The main speaker for the event is Sarah Beth Thornton, vice president of business development for Retail Strategies, out of Birmingham, Alabama, she said. The company pulls data together on rural communities.

“They are going to be presenting on trends specifically to Western Kentucky and our region,” said Spencer.

They will talk about what businesses can learn from the pandemic, ways to recover quicker, how to plan for the future, and if something like the pandemic happens again, how to pivot and still be successful, she said.

“I think anyone interested in learning about the retail community and trends, things we can look forward to for the next 12 or 24 months ... this will be a great event for them,” said Spencer.

Before the speaker, the chamber will be recognizing five businesses that have been part of the community the longest and who are deeply rooted in the community. The businesses have operated in the county collectively for 360 years.

“Which is pretty amazing, and they have done it successfully,” said Spencer. “They are kind of the foundation of all businesses.”

The five businesses are Calhoun Feed Service who has been in the county for 50 years, Clements Jewelers Inc. for 86 years, Legates Furniture World for 66 years, Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio for over 50 years, and Metcalfe Florist and Pleasant View Greenhouses who have operated in the county for about 100 years.

“We are going to be presenting them with an award,” said Spencer.

To make it more interactive, those in attendance will be playing trivia, she said. The businesses will give the chamber five or seven fun facts about their business.

“I think it will be fun to learn about these businesses and their history,” said Spencer.

Prizes will be given out to those who answer the questions correctly, she said.

Tickets are still for sale with members paying $35 and $50 for a non-member. Spencer said they are offering a discount for retailers and restaurants who would only pay $15. The cost does include food, beverages and the program.

Catering Creations will be providing the food for the event, she said.

Those in attendance will have a chance to network from 5 to 5:30 p.m. before dinner is served.

Spencer said if it does rain, then the entire event will be moved to the Parkway Plaza Mall.

Tickets can be purchased either at the chamber office or online at Non-members cannot purchase tickets online; they have to go through the office.

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