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  • Montgomery Chamber Celebrates Economic Success Amidst Global Pandemic at 148th Annual Meeting

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    MONTGOMERY, Ala. – December 15, 2020 – Today the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce held its 148th Annual Meeting, highlighting a year of pivotal economic development successes and a nimble, impactful response to the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virtual meeting included reports from 2020 Chairman Arthur DuCote and President/CEO Anna Buckalew, the transition of leadership to incoming Chairman John Yelverton, and award recognitions for the business community.
    “In a year that tested us all, we found a way to bring support and relief to our small businesses, while finding the courage and conviction to vote in the first tax increase for public schools in 50 years. Amidst the hardships, we announced growth and developments that have positioned Montgomery to recover quickly and be the city we aspire to be,” said Anna Buckalew, Chamber President and CEO.
    Approving a property tax increase by a margin of 61% to generate $33M for Montgomery Public Schools was at the top of the list of successes for 2020. “It was the work of an incredible coalition of citizens and business, elected, and community leaders who joined hands to raise funds for public education in a bold new way,” said 2020 Chairman Arthur DuCote.
    In response to the impacts of COVID-19, the Chamber joined with the Montgomery County Commission and the Montgomery City Council as part of Mayor Steven L. Reed’s COVID Economic Impact Task Force. As a result, the Recover Together Initiative was launched. Through the initiative, the Chamber and its partners:
    • Launched the Recover Together Small Business HUB which continues to help unite businesses and provide ongoing, individualized assistance
    • Counseled hundreds of small and minority-owned businesses through the Small Business Connects hotline
    • Awarded $445,000 to over 137 local businesses through the Recover Together Small Business Relief Fund
    In addition to serving the business community during the pandemic, the Chamber maintained a laser-like focus on its mission to drive economic prosperity and a better future for all, achieving the following milestones:
    • Montgomery Chamber Named a Top 20 Economic Development Organization by Site Selection magazine
    • Recognized for excellence by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
    • Montgomery named a top mid-size market for economic development
    • Announced 22 new and expanding industrial projects with capital investment exceeding $75M, including a $13.5M expansion in Montgomery of Mountain Top USA, and Hyundai Motor North America’s addition of a fifth vehicle, the 2022 Tucson, to their Montgomery plant starting in 2021.
    • Maxwell-Gunter named the base of choice for a new Grey Wolf MH-139 flight training mission
    • Achieved over 150M positive media impressions through strategic coverage in The New York Times, Essence, Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel and Garden & Gun, among others
    • Launched the Montgomery TechLab – a new Tech Accelerator that supports Montgomery’s growing defense and innovation climate
    • Launched an in-house production studio and transformed 40+ signature events into high-quality virtual experiences and new opportunities for business engagement and support
    “The Chamber began the year with a more strategic, focused approach to economic development – a short list of priorities driven by a simple goal – that we must accelerate growth in Montgomery. And this year, we moved the needle,” said Buckalew. “Our initiatives leveraged military assets, diversified the economy, supported the innovation and entrepreneurial climate, and began redefining our destination experience and brand.”
    Editor’s Note: For high-res photos, visit www.choosemontgomery.com  
    With a mission to create jobs and a better quality of life in Montgomery and the River Region, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce is a full spectrum economic development corporation representing 1,700 organizations and business and more than 80,000 employees throughout Montgomery and the River Region. The Montgomery Chamber is an innovative, consolidated organization that addresses destination tourism, economic development, business development, workforce development, and community strategies under one umbrella, linking the public and private sector around a shared vision and providing tremendous value to its investors.  
    Media Contacts:
    Meg Lewis
    Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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