PINEVILLE -- The McDonald County Chamber of Commerce opened its monthly meetings to the public after covid-19 began to dwindle in the county. The meetings, which take place the second Wednesday of each month, are held in the Pineville Community Center, where lunch is served, and the public can hear from various guest speakers.
Terra Sanders, office administrator for the chamber of commerce, said the chamber opened the meetings to the public because they wanted to reach more people in McDonald County. Sanders added that there is a different speaker, or speakers, each month, and the cost of lunch is $10. The meeting, which takes place at noon on the second Wednesday of the month, is designed so employees can eat lunch and attend the meetings during their lunch break.
"It's wonderful to gather as a community," Sanders said.
Sanders said attending the meetings allows the public, and business owners involved with the chamber, to gain knowledge of what is happening in McDonald County as well as what the county has to offer.
"It's all about connections, the networking we do. Letting people know, hey, this business is out there if you want to use it, we'll be glad to help you in any way we can," Sanders said.
Sanders said in addition to connections that can be made at the meetings, community members will be more knowledgeable about what is happening in the county after attending.
"It's just the connections, I can't stress it enough," Sanders said. "We make a lot of great connections, and a lot of information gets handed out that people may or may not know or be aware of."
Shawn Cooper, president of the McDonald County Chamber of Commerce, said the meetings help stimulate the economy in the county by letting attendees know what the county has to offer.
"It's just a group of people networking together to try to stimulate the economy and growth within our members first," Cooper said. "Within McDonald County, and to really try to focus and find those people who have the same mindset to work together to help each other succeed."
Cooper said when like-minded people are together at the meetings, exciting things happen in the county, and support amongst community members and businesses grows.
"As people who are interested in growing their community and prospering their community, we all have the community's heart and interest," Cooper said. "We want to have McDonald County as the number one place to raise your children, that's our goal."
Kellie Inmon is a community member that has been attending chamber meetings since they have been made public. Inmon said the speakers bring a variety of new information each meeting. Inmon added that she is able to network at the events as well as learn more about upcoming events and businesses in the county.
"Going to these chamber meetings isn't like we're in it for competition," Inmon said. "It's more like we're in it to help each other, one business from one town doesn't have to compete with the other. They may be able to pass on some resources, or supplies chains or something that can help each other."
Sanders is looking for speakers for the August meeting and lunch, any interested parties can contact her at 417-223-8888.