• Letter from the Chairman

  • It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce. As a Chamber board member for several years, I am grateful and excited to lead our dedicated board of directors and staff as we serve the Effingham business community.

    The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is a challenging and disruptive time for all of us. I am proud of how our chamber has worked to help businesses adapt and survive the economic impact and keep their employees and customers as safe as possible. Through our Coronavirus Resource Page at www.effinghamcounty.com, and social media the chamber has spread awareness of important economic recovery resources and changing safety guidelines. In this difficult time, the chamber has served a vital role in helping our county come through the crisis, and demonstrated our value to business and residents alike.

    Our board also took the proactive decision not to hold any in-person public gatherings until public health officials tell us they can be conducted safely. We will continue to monitor guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will update our members and the public when those guidelines change.

    Our chamber board and staff this fall worked diligently to inform Effingham County voters about the Transportation Special Option Local Sales Tax, or TSPLOST referendum in the ballot in November. Transportation affects everyone in the county, and there is a dire need for stable funding for road repairs, improvements and other transportation projects. TSPLOST will raise an estimated $45 million over five years to ensure better roads now and for the future here in Effingham County.

    I want to thank our Immediate Past Chairman Joe Marchese for his strong leadership during a transitional period, and the search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Thanks also to former Board President Ed Vance for continuing to provide his insight and experience on the Executive Board during this period.

    I believe our community and our chamber will emerge from these experiences stronger and better prepared for a bright future. I look forward to working with you all, as we grow together.

    Ryan Thompson
    Chairman of the Board
    Effingham County Chamber of Commerce