Membership dues received are used as general operating funds. The Chamber also receives occupancy taxes from the Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority, which comes from taxes paid to motels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds within our county. These funds may only be used for advertising and promotion of Andrews.
Even with limited funds, the Chamber has contributed greatly to the area. In most cases, the Chamber has worked closely with other organizations to accomplish their goals. You may not be aware of the Chamber’s involvement in accomplishments such as:
- Andrews is growing. We have 23 new businesses that have opened or will open within this fiscal year, and we are working on attracting more.
- The Chamber’s events in Andrews are growing. During the last fiscal year, we’ve averaged 5,100 attendees and 90 vendors per signature event. Food Truck Fridays had over 4,000 attendees for the series of 5 events, in its Second year.
- The Town of Andrews will again host The Cherokee County Fair at the Andrews Rec Park in 2023. This year the fair will have rides, vendors, live entertainment, food, demonstrations, and more.
- The Andrews Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Andrews partnered together this year to increase Food Truck Fridays to 10 dates: every 2nd and 4th Friday, May through September.
- The Town and Chamber are working together to improve Hall Park, and to beautify areas of town that have been neglected in recent years, such as: Entrance Signs and Downtown Sidewalks. The Chamber added two flower boxes in front of our office.
- The Chamber website is now averaging 11,284 visits per month, with an average of 5,871 of those being unique (visitors that have not visited before or have not visited in a long time). The top consistent search term used to find our website continues to be “find andrews nc businesses”.
- The Chamber contracted an artist to paint a new mural in town at the corner of Chestnut and Main Streets. This mural is popular with visitors and festival goers as a spot to take photos.
- The Chamber received TDA grant money to advertise our events in Our State magazine during this fiscal year. Our newsletter ads with Our State have consistently been in the top 5 in number of clicks for each issue we participate in. The Chamber put on 6 events during this fiscal year: Shop Where Your Heart Is, Food Truck Fridays Summer Series, Oktoberfest, Trunk or Treat, Christmas on Main Street, and Spring Fling.
- During this fiscal year, the Chamber completed their renovation of their office space to include a comfortable waiting area, a display case for member products, a local art wall, a large meeting space with projector, a more organized storage area, and more visibility for our members. We also added two TVs with a weekly calendar slideshow of local events. Our space is always available to Chamber Members for meetings and classes.
- The Chamber began operating a UPS dropoff location in February and is one of only 2 local locations for this service.
- We received a grant from the Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority during this fiscal year to help pay a full-time salary for our Executive Director. Because of this, our office is now open Monday thru Friday, 10 am to 3 pm.
- The Chamber brokered a deal with BalsamWest during this fiscal year to supply high-speed fiber internet for all of our events. The internet coverage extends from The Blue Stage to the Police Department on Main Street and also covers Hall Park/First Street from Chestnut to Locust. We would like to thank our Members who allowed us to use their buildings for the access point hardware:
The Blue Stage, Gayle Horton, Expo Management, Mission Thrift Store, Snowbird Mountains Brewery, and FernCrest Winery Tasting Room. We greatly appreciate your commitment to help make this happen.
- The Chamber started a monthly Welcome Coffee to help new residents of our area meet other residents and prominent groups. This Coffee takes place at the Chamber on the Second Monday of each month. All are welcome at these events.
- The Chamber contacted and worked with Judy and Jack Roberson to help create a new tourism venue for Andrews: Andrews Valley Rail Tours. The ride on the rails goes from the old train depot at Locust & First Streets to the Valley River Tunnel in Topton and back again. We are currently working with our local eateries, breweries, and wineries to create a “picnic” option for riders.
- The Chamber and the Town have developed a great working relationship.
- To preserve tradition, the Chamber agreed to the Town of Andrews’ request to resume its handling of the annual Christmas parade in 2022.
- The Chamber’s events in Andrews are growing. During the last fiscal year, we’ve averaged 3,200 attendees and 82 vendors per signature event. Food Truck Fridays had over 2,000 attendees for the series of 5 events, in its first year, and the June 2022 event had an estimated 1,000 attendees!
- The Chamber website is now averaging 9,392 visits per month, with an average of 4,496 of those being unique (visitors that have not visited before or have not visited in a long time). The top consistent search term used to find our website is “find andrews nc businesses”.
- Our goal for the next fiscal year is to allow you to have control of your page on our website so that you can easily update your photos, your hours, and your information on your own.
- The Chamber put on 6 events during this fiscal year: Food Truck Fridays, Oktoberfest, Trunk or Treat, Christmas on Main Street, Magic on Main Parade, and Spring Fling.
- The Chamber has advertised outside of our area much more often in the last fiscal year. And it shows…60% of our event attendees are from outside the area. Including places as far away as Columbia, SC, and Nashville, TN.
- Our targeted advertising includes Facebook ads, The Blue Ridge Digest Travel Magazine (Asheville), and Our State Magazine, to name a few.
- During this fiscal year the Chamber expanded within our space and painted and redesigned our office to be more professional and to better serve the community. Members can use our office space for meetings or classes.
- We market our members through our website, print materials in the office, emails, social media, and word of mouth.
- As of June 1, 2022, our Chamber Office is staffed 5 days a week, 9 am to 4 pm. Nola will also be available by appointment in the mornings, before opening, to visit with and assist members.
- Nola’s background is in branding, marketing, print media, and website development, and she is happy to help and advise anyone who needs assistance.
Website: Our new Website is growing every month, and visitors are using it to find businesses in our area. Our focus on RAFT, HIKE, FISH, and BIKE has really boosted our brand for visitors and businesses.
Exposure: We added a new billboard on the 4 lane to draw traffic into town.
First Impressions: People are starting to view Andrews as a “destination.” There have been multiple sightings of groups visiting to participate in outdoor activities at places such as Hoppy Trout and Cups & Cones.
Expansion: We purchased the rights to AndrewsTrails.com and are developing it as a sister site to the Chamber website visitandrewsnc.com
Community: The Chamber and the Town of Andrews came together to produce a great video to send to HGTV Hometown Makeover.
Internet: Average monthly unique visits to our website: 5,584
Tourism: We continue to work with the Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority to promote the Town of Andrews and Cherokee County.
Signature Events: In the last year we have held several events such as “The Spring Fling”, “Fourth of July Celebration”, “Octoberfest”, “Christmas on Main” and the “Magic on Main Christmas Parade”
Growth: Our current membership is 115 members. We have developed a new participation structure for our membership dues. Members that wish to be sponsors of our events can upgrade their membership to include sponsorship advertising, membership, and a booth at each event for one fee. We continue to encourage members to offer after-hours events to promote your business and new business ribbon cuttings. Individuals, who don’t have a business, can also be a member of the Chamber for $50 per year. We would love to have the community come together and work with us to make Andrews the greatest place to work and play.
2018 & Earlier
Welcome signs – After working for several years with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the Chamber installed a welcome sign at the west end of town on US 19/74 a few years ago. The Chamber has just completed the installation of a welcome sign at the east end of town. Both signs are beautifully landscaped thanks to assistance from many area civic organizations.
Rest Area – Along the Valley River at the intersection of US 19/74 and Beaver Creek Road sits the rest area. This beautiful spot shaded by oak trees and alive with a variety of flowers has been featured in many magazines. With picnic tables and grills, this serene spot offers travelers and residents a serene picnic spot It was the result of efforts by the Andrews Chamber working closely with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Valleytown Cultural Arts Center – When the First Baptist Church vacated the building they had used since the early 1900s it was acquired by the Chamber. They turned it over to the Valleytown Cultural Arts and Historical Society. The building provides a facility for the community to stage performing and visual arts.
Hall Memorial Park – Through cooperative efforts of the Chamber, the Town of Andrews and the Norfolk/Southern Railroad, Hall Memorial Park was developed. The park and gazebo play host to many activities during the year.
Schoolhouse Steps – When the steps leading from the town up to the school grounds were in dire need of repair, the Andrews Revitalization Committee of the Chamber coordinated the task. The steps were rebuilt and lined with benches with memorial plaques. A walkway in honor and memory of the people of Andrews winds its way to Freedom Memorial Plaza.
Freedom Memorial Plaza – At the top the schoolhouse steps stands Freedom Memorial Plaza, in honor of all those who have given so much in the name of Freedom. The site offers a commanding view of the town below.
Landscaping – A number of landscaping and beautification projects in the downtown area have been completed by the Andrews Revitalization Committee