After being named the executive director for the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, Prestonsburg native Charly Wise, is looking to help local businesses grow as she aims to give back to the community she said she loves dearly.

Near the end of 2019, Wise became the director of the chamber. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work that she and the chamber wanted to kickstart had to be placed on the back burner as many businesses began to close their doors. Now that local businesses have began re-opening, Wise said, she is looking to help continue the growth of the chamber while also increasing its footprint across Floyd County, as she said that becoming a member of the Floyd County Chamber has its benefits.

The main benefit Wise said, is the networking aspect that the chamber can provide. Wise said the chamber hosts a special luncheon, which takes place every other month, something that provides a great opportunity for businesses and individuals.

"If you're a new business or even if you're not, then it's just a good place to come and let other business owners know that you're out there," Wise said. "That's our main objective, it's to keep everyone working together and we of course want to keep everyone aware of any legislation in Frankfort that may affect business practices."

The chamber typically hosts two major event during the year — its Chamber Banquet which had to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and its golf scramble which is currently scheduled to take place in October. Those programs, Wise said, are used to help fund the other events and things the organization may need throughout the year.

The chamber, Wise said, also helps provide information to businesses, which she said helps keep local owners and their respective businesses up-to-date regarding numerous things..

"We do an e-blast every week," Wise said. "We probably have around 600 emails that wee use to keep people engaged with what's going on, if there's a special event coming up, any deals going on. Even if there are any seminars, education or anything like that.

"We try to keep everyone we can up to date with what's going on in our community," she added.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, as well as during, Wise said, the chamber sent out everything they acquired from the Small Business Association regarding loans and other information businesses may have found useful.

"We just want to keep the businesses and people as informed as possible," Wise said. "And we have constant resources here. We keep all of our state employment and safety guidelines up-to-date, we just have a lot of information."

As businesses have already began re-opening, especially in today's climate, it can difficult keeping up with all the guidelines and restrictions associated with the re-opening. Wise said that she would be glad to sit down with any business owner who would be interested, to help hem navigate through these unprecedented times.

"Every time I have a question about anything, I go to," Wise said. "And I would be glad to sit down with someone to help make sure they go over all the check lists that are on there."

On a more personal level, Wise said, she hopes that she can continue the growth of the Floyd Chamber, while also becoming more involved in the community.

"I just love Prestonsburg and Floyd County so much that I want to continue to see our cities and area growing and if the chamber or myself can aid in that growth, especially by helping local businesses, then I'm behind it," Wise said.

The Floyd County Chamber of Commerce is located at 202 Irene Street, Suite 202, in downtown Prestonsburg and if any county businesses, inside or outside the city of Prestonsburg, is interested   in more information regarding the benefits that come with becoming a member of the Chamber, they can call (606)-886-0364.

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