Under the leadership of president Trevor Hibbard, the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce has plotted a new course of action that focuses on strengthening Fayette’s public image, cementing ties with current members and developing strategies that shore up the local economy by encouraging expanded community cooperation.
Hibbard, a plant supervisor and owner of Hibbard’s Excavating in Fayette, knows that in fragile economic times, cooperation and collaboration count when it comes to ensuring the economic vitality of a community. That is especially true in Ohio’s rural villages that are non-governmental centers.
“I just want to see that those who have made real investments in this community continue to grow and prosper,” Hibbard said.
He points to recent meetings at local business locations as an effort to focus the Chamber’s attention on innovative local investment. Those meetings have taken place at Cork’s Winery, R & H Restaurant, Kaiser’s Market, and Fayette Floral & Gifts. This month’s meeting is scheduled Thursday at 4-H Camp Palmer.
Mayor Ruth Marlatt, long-time Chamber member who serves as vice president of the organization, noted that Fayette’s Main Street is populated by locally-owned businesses that employ well over a hundred full and part-time employees.
She pointed out that while not all of those businesses hold membership in the organization, the Chamber represents all who care about the village and its surrounding agricultural areas.
Marlatt is described as an outspoken advocate for the village and believes that Fayette is well served by the businesses and individuals who have invested their “time, talent and treasures” to make the community a better place to live.
“Fayette has a history of working together,” Marlatt said, “from early efforts to locate industries to the community, to its support of the pool, opera house, and its many festivals, community benefits and activities, Fayette has always stretched limited resources to meet needs.”
The Fayette Chamber’s roots reach back to the early 1960s when a group of civic leaders formed the Fayette Betterment Committee.
Following its successful role in welcoming Fayette Tubular Products to Fayette, the Betterment group then focused on the coordination of the community’s event calendar. For nearly two decades it became the collective voice of the community.
In the mid-1970s, the Fayette Merchant’s Association was organized to stimulate commercial activity on Main Street. This body of merchants banded together to create many promotional events; most notable was the Friday Night Raffle.
The Chamber formed in the early 1990s to create an umbrella that included not only service organizations, interested individuals, merchants and agricultural interests, but also industrial representatives. This attempt to involve the corporations that called Fayette “home” was in recognition of the vital role they played in creating the economic foundation of the village.
With the Bull Thistle Arts Festival, Music Fest and Fall Fest under its belt, the Chamber will turn its attention to the activities of the final quarter.
CITIZEN—On Oct. 27, the Chamber will celebrate the 2011 Citizen of the Year with the recognition of Superintendent of Fayette Schools, Russ Griggs.
HALLOWEEN—On the following Monday, Oct. 31, the Chamber and its member organizations will support Fayette’s annual Halloween festivities. This local tradition reaches back over a hundred years and is in keeping with the Chamber’s “Betterment Tradition” of serving as catalyst for community involvement.
The Fayette Area Chamber, along with the Fayette Lion’s Club and the Gorham Fayette Fire Department, will collaborate to ensure another memorable “Trick or Treat” evening.
CHRISTMAS—Planning continues for “Christmas in Fayette, 2011.” This year’s efforts will include live entertainment, a “Village Lighting” event and the “Family Christmas Film and Raffle.” As details are complete, those activities will appear in local news outlets.
Until that time the Fayette Chamber urges all to shop Fayette, support Fayette and as always, buy local whenever possible.