Searcy County is for Military Retirees!!

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Beginning in January 2018, Arkansas will eliminate tax on military retirement pay! Searcy County is a great place for military retirees! We have a sizeable and active veteran’s community and a beautiful outdoor, small town, and farm environment! Searcy County was founded in 1838 and since that time thousands of its residents have worn a military uniform serving during times of war and peace from the Civil War to today’s conflicts. The Veterans’ Wall of Honor at the Searcy County Courthouse in Marshall is inscribed with the names of hundreds of Searcy County veterans. Also located at the courthouse is the Searcy County Veterans’ Memorial recognizing locals who lost their lives during a time of war.

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Searcy County Veterans Service Officer Mr. Philip McAdams — Phone: 870-448-5783 Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall, By Appointment Only

Matheny & Henderson Am. Legion Post 131 Leslie,  —  Phone: 870-447-2183 Meets 4th Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

John Rainbolt American Legion Post 198 St. Joe, Meets 1st Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

Dusty Helmet VFW Post 3252 Marshall,  —  Phone: 870-448-2013 Meets 4th Saturday of every month at 1 p.m.

Morrison & West VFW Post 12127 Leslie,  —  Phone: 870-447-2960 Meets 2nd Saturday of every month at 9 a.m.

Searcy County Veterans Memorial Association Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall, Meets 1st Friday of every month at 7 p.m.

Detachment 1, 224th Maintenance Company Arkansas Army National Guard 318 West Fair Street  Marshall,  72650 870-448-2364

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2016 12-Month Progress Report

Friends and chamber members,

Happy New Year!  Whew! It has been a busy and award winning 2016 for the volunteers of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce!  Thanks for all your contributions to our success.  Let’s stay together and keep striving for even greater success in 2017!

Governors conference 4

Darryl Treat

The Greater Searcy

County Chamber of Commerce

12-month Progress Report (Jan – Dec 2016)

(Supporting our members and the economic progress of Searcy County!)

 

  • Chamber membership grew to 181 members!
  • Increased Facebook Friends from 5,376 to 6,951
  • Supported Searcy County events and Chamber businesses on Facebook
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh maintained a Chamber website
  • Helped multiple local businesses in their quest to fill job openings by giving exposure to the openings
  • Solicited new business for Searcy County with official letters from Chamber president
  • Used the Arkansas Group Travel On-line Sales Leads Distribution System to target emails to potential tourists and tourist agencies
  • Mailed literature through US Postal Service to persons interested in Searcy County
  • Chamber president answered “numerous” phone calls on an almost 24/7 365-day basis!
  • Chamber president assisted the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation by monthly confirming the status of the properties currently listed on the Entergy Economic Development Site Selection Center website
  • Lee Walsh established SEARCY COUNTY WEATHER station reporting on our Website.
  • Established a Chamber Instagram Account. @searcycountycc
  • International Mountain Biking Association representative Steve Schneider met with Chamber President Darryl Treat & Leslie Mayor Talitha Hardin about mountain biking in Leslie
  • Continued a cooperative agreement with the Kenda Drive-In to show commercials promoting Searcy County at the drive-in
  • Continued to conduct monthly chamber meetings primarily in the Petit Jean conference room
  • Chamber president spoke to the Searcy County Republican Party regarding economic issues
  • Helped spread the word to find nominees for the 76th annual session of the Arkansas American Legion Boys State
  • Helped initiate and conduct the 1st Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Searcy County Championship Thursday 26 January at Petit Jean in Marshall for children in 3rd through 8th grades in Marshall, Leslie, and St. Joe schools!
  • Worked with Kristine Puckett, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, to help us acquire contact information to attract a new hotel to the county
  • Updated the 2016 Manufacturer’s Directory for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce
  • Met with representatives from the Ozark Byways regional network at Big Springs Restaurant in St. Joe. The group shared ideas for regional events and reviewed the draft of the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine. Among those concepts discussed were mountain bike trails, quilt trail, agri-tours, and day-tripping.
  • Chamber president addressed Leslie City Council meeting asking for support for disc golf and Bike Park within the Leslie City Park. Received council endorsement to proceed
  • Chamber compiled, maintained, and published Events Calendar for Searcy County
  • Promoted that The American Red Cross is giving away and installing free smoke detectors with 10 year batteries!
  • Advising chamber members to ask their customers to go to Trip Advisor and leave a review! Great idea from Michael Economopoulos.
  • Organized a meeting in Leslie of some key Searcy County officials with a representative of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission
  • Chamber president answered questions of Julie Blair, CEA-Staff Chair, Searcy County, before she attended a workshop about Local Economic Development opportunities
  • Promoted Searcy County to KY3 TV of Springfield, Missouri
  • Created and printed 8,000 of the 2016 Community and Relocation Guides
  • Relocation Guides provided for Arkansas Tourism Welcome Centers, Little Rock AFB, and around Searcy County
  • Held successful 3rd Chamber Banquet & Awards Ceremony on 25 Feb in Marshall
  • Recognized Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Searcy County Award, and gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Paid out $750 to award-winning Agriculture, Business, and Science/Technology students from around the county
  • Chamber president helped the Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support understand the contributions that volunteers made to our organization by completing the 2015 ARKANSAS VOLUNTEER IMPACT SURVEY.
  • Member of the Ozark Mountain Region, a recognized Arkansas Regional Tourism Association
  • Maintained welcome signs along US Highway 65 toward north and south ends of the county and occasionally changed the signs message
  • Two board members and chamber president attended Chronic Wasting Disease meeting in Marshall
  • Promoted awareness of bed bug problem to chamber members
  • Hosted meat processor owner Andy Shaw to show him the need in Searcy County
  • Attended 42nd annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.
  • Winner of the Bootstrap Award, Arkansas Parks and Tourism Henry Awards!
  • Set up a booth at the MHS Chocolate Roll Festival
  • Donated eight pizzas and water for the Buffalo River Trail Crew while they worked to complete the trail between HW 65 and the South Maumee Road.  David and Cynthia Garmoe represented the chamber.
  • Purchased full page Ad in the 2016 Ozark Byways magazine at the cost of $1,000
  • Purchased an Ad in new regional magazine “Our Ozarks Magazine,” ½ page for $250
  • Working to help J & H Custom Furniture of Pindall sell their factory to someone who will keep manufacturing here in Searcy County
  • Sent a letter of support to help the grant application for Mrs. Judith Branscum, Marshall High School College and Career Coach
  • Mersady Redding represented Searcy County at the Miss Teen International Competition April 22-24 in Maumelle. Chamber sponsored for $100.
  • Steven Newby was selected as the new chamber of commerce secretary
  • Established a new trails committee with Darryl Treat, Victor Boyd, Dirk Merle, and Laura McCarty
  • Worked with University of Memphis grad student Elizabeth Treat to produce a map of the entire Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with City of Marshall, the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, and Searcy County to acquire grant money for a bicycle trail and bike park in Marshall
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat selected by the Rural Community Alliance as a “Champion of Rural Arkansas”
  • Encouraged Marshall to start marketing itself
  • Sponsored one hole of disc golf in Leslie for $325
  • Laura McCarty manned a booth for the Chamber at the 6th Annual Searcy County Health & Safety Expo
  • Partnering with the North Central Adult Education Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) Program! Involves serving on the WAGE Advisory Committee.
  • Very first chamber of commerce in the state of Arkansas to have 6,000 Facebook friends!
  • Chamber president spent all day conducting a Searcy County Tour for Tracy Morales, Group Travel Manager for Arkansas Parks & Tourism and Casey Cesare, Director of Ozark Mountain Region Tourism on 31 May!
  • Chamber purchased an ad in the Leslie Homecoming book and the Searcy County Fair book
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat and Laura McCarty helped the Buffalo National River and the Ozark Highlands Trail Association celebrate National Trails Day on June 4, 2016 at Tyler Bend. Chamber purchased chocolate rolls for the event.
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 for the new Stem Rock Natural Area at Oxley
  • Helped the City of Marshall put out the word for a Public Hearing on 14 June at City Hall in Marshall regarding a proposed city park
  • Helped the City of Marshall by spreading the word of Marshall’s need for letters of support for grant money for a sidewalk/bicycle trail project in Marshall
  • Chamber president attended Civil War Historical Marker Dedication, ribbon cutting, and Potluck on 2 July in Witts Springs
  • We renewed dues to the Ozark Mountain Region Tourism for $160
  • Chamber agreed to spend up to $500 to acquire signs and equipment for the new Ozark Grinder bicycle trail
  • Chamber approved $100 sponsorships for the Pedestal Rock Bicycle Ride at Witt Springs, the 3rd Annual Hog Wild Days in Marshall, and the Ozark Mountain Shootin’ Hoops For A Cause in St. Joe
  • Chamber president spoke at the Arkansas Trails Council Meeting at Tyler Bend, Saturday, July 16
  • Chamber Secretary Steven Newby and President Darryl Treat completed and filed the 2016 Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporation to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office
  • Chamber President Darryl Treat participated on 19 July in the Mountain Home Retiree Recruitment Luncheon with other like-minded area organizations
  • Purchased “Welcome Wagon” type canvas bags from Sozo Graphics. Ideally, for giving out to new employees who have just moved to Searcy County.
  • Chamber assisted in promoting a Community Night of Prayer in support of our law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel!
  • Chamber ordered and 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland installed about $415 of Bicycle Trail & Bicycle Route signs for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Helped Royal Oak Charcoal obtain an Average Wage Survey for Searcy County and then shared it with our chamber of commerce.
  • Chamber president welcomed new hires to the Searcy County School District on 5 August and gave out Welcome Bags
  • Lobbied and informed key politicians of the impact of a Presidential Executive Order that caused the loss of the local gunsmith at R&C Arms of Marshall
  • Chamber advertised in the Marshall Mountain Wave supporting the Farm Family of the Year and the Searcy County Fair
  • Chamber purchased booth space at the Searcy County Fair in Marshall. Booth manned by Sara Davison.
  • Chamber donated to the Searcy County Fair Premium
  • Chamber of commerce president volunteered by picking up trash at South Maumee, Buffalo National River, on August 20, 2016
  • Chamber member Lee Walsh submitted photos to the Arkansas Educational Television Network of the Wiley’s Cove barn near Leslie and the Smith barn near Marshall for consideration in a show about barns of Arkansas. AETN adopted both barns in its show “Back Road Barns,” an AETN original production that aired on Thursday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m.
  • Chamber president volunteered by using his chainsaw to take out some nuisance trees at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall
  • Chamber president and some other chamber members attended a meeting with Attorney General Leslie Rutledge in Marshall on 23 August addressing small business issues
  • Invited chamber members attended the National Park Service 100th birthday party at Tyler Bend on 25 August
  • Continued to push the “Shop Local” campaign on Facebook and in the chamber of commerce Community and Relocation Guide
  • Organized and promoted Junkfest! Purchased $100 of Junkfest Advertising on KCGS radio
  • Promoted horseback riding in Searcy County and the 37th Annual Falling Water Trail ride
  • Chamber president spoke about “Organizing the Greater Community” to the Regional Revitalization Networks Training, October 4-5, Leslie-Marshall-St. Joe, held by Rural Community Alliance
  • Chamber president spoke and served on the “Chamber Panel” of the CTE Regional Partnership Council Summit III at the Durand Center in Harrison on October 26th
  • Chamber board member Billie Reed volunteered to go to the 7th Annual Hiking the Ozarks Outdoor Rendezvous at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, located near the Buffalo National River, in Jasper on 22 October to promote Searcy County and our members
  • Rod Corley of Aux Arc Wilderness Cabins of Zack volunteered to do a Market Analysis Class for rental lodging operators to maximize their rentals.  Rod is a graduate of the Institute of Real Estate Management, CPM.  Some of his clients were John Hancock, Massachusetts Mutual, Connecticut Mutual, Bank of New York, LaSalle Partners, and Wells Fargo!  Rod recently completed a Searcy County Rental Market Survey.  That survey has already helped Rod!
  • Assisted Zack McCannon, Producer, AETN-ArkansasIDEAS, with a documentary, Music in Arkansas. Origins tracks the development of Arkansas’s rich musical heritage
  • Helped McClain Forestry by providing 2015 Average Hourly Wages for Searcy County by sector and advertising their hiring party
  • Chamber president attended Mountain View Trail Coalition Meeting and spoke about the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Worked with Parks & Tourism to find a restaurant in Marshall for travel writers from Mexico who were visiting Gilbert
  • Helped promote the “Buy it Where You Burn it” campaign to stop the movement of firewood into Searcy County and the possible spread of forest-damaging pests
  • Chamber members participated in the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) and the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) at UALR Strategic Assessment meeting on Monday, September 19th at 3:00 p.m. at Petit Jean in Marshall
  • Some chamber members volunteered to maintain a section of the Buffalo River Trail from the South Maumee Road to the Spring Creek Road
  • Buffalo National River calculated 2,543 people were at the chamber-sponsored Ozark Folklife Festival at Tyler Bend! Chuck Dovish filmed at the festival.
  • Pushed entries for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame
  • Called at the request of Shepherd of the Ozarks who had their Windstream phone line cut by accident but was not getting the line repaired in a timely fashion. Call resulted in a quick repair helping the largest lodging facility in Searcy County!
  • Submitted Fall Foliage Reports to Arkansas Parks & Tourism
  • Helped the Quitman Jeep Junkies get information on places to conduct Jeep riding
  • Worked to help Ozark Mountain Wood Pellets in their effort to set up manufacturing north of Pindall
  • Lobbied Petit Jean about applying a rural electrification model to broadband internet access
  • Educated chamber members on tools to use when promoting Searcy County in a Customer Service Economy
  • Submitted an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Nomination for the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce, a Parks & Tourism Henry Award.
  • Successfully got Leslie added to the Antiquing page on Arkansas.com as a Hotspot!
  • Supported increased National Park Service funding that could help with a deferred maintenance backlog of $12.7 million in needed repairs on the Buffalo National River
  • Submitted some major upgrades to Arkansas.com for Leslie and Witts Springs
  • Donated $50 for use of the Veterans Memorial Hall in Marshall
  • Established a Go Fund me site for the purchase of a Country Music marker for Elton Britt, for both tourism attraction and heritage preservation
  • Approved up to $200 for more bicycle trail signs for 911 Coordinator Gary Ragland to put up for the Ozark Grinder Trail
  • Robert Duggan, Recreation Program Manager Forest Service Ozark-St. Francis National Forests gave verbal approval on Friday, 9 December for Searcy County to place bicycle signs on highway right of way within the Ozark National Forest along the bicycle trail
  • Approved the purchase of Christmas lights to light up the old historic jail in Marshall
  • Chamber president working to help Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce make progress in their county
  • Conducted ribbon cutting ceremony at Acceptance Now inside Roten’s Furniture on 18 November in Marshall
  • Participated in the Courthouse Square Lighting Ceremony on 25 November
  • Helped a Marshall family obtain assistance for Christmas
  • Helped the Searcy County Judge determine the largest non-government employers in Searcy County
  • Worked with State Representative David Branscum to get a letter sent to Governor Asa Hutchinson petitioning for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame
  • Donated $100 to the family of the late Rock-n-Java proprietor Shawn Henderson
  • David & Cynthia Garmoe represented the Chamber in the Christmas Parade on 10 December in Marshall
  • Technology Coordinator Lee Walsh and Treasurer Alesha Collier established a PayPal account for the Chamber
  • Received a letter of recommendation for Elton Britt’s inclusion in the Arkansas Entertainer’s Hall of Fame from the Rackensack Folklore Society Pulaski County
  • Submitted some upgrades to Arkansas.com for Marshall and Gilbert
  • Promoted on Facebook to take unwanted prescription drugs to the sheriff’s office in Marshall for collection
  • Worked to help find office space for a new Searcy County resident
  • Ran an end-of-year 15 Searcy County Attractions Countdown on Facebook!
  • Budget Committee proposed budget for 2017

Advertising                                       $4,000

Booths/Events/Sponsor.                   $3,500

Banquet                                            $2,000

Housekeeping                                   $1,600

Old Jail Office                                      $500              

Total                                                $11,600

 

Onward to 2017!!

 

Searcy County Chamber Wins the Bootstrap Award

Bootstrap award

 

 

We did it!  Our collective hard work was recognized at the state level!  Arkansas Parks & Tourism knows who we are!  Thank you to all our chamber members for your contribution of time and money!  Let’s keep our momentum going and let us reach for the sky!

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce is the winner of the Bootstrap Award in the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism Henry Awards!  The 2016 Henry Awards winners were revealed at the 42nd Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Springdale on March 15th. Chamber of Commerce President Darryl Treat accepted the award for the Chamber from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.  The Henry Awards honor Henri de Tonti, the man historians consider to be among the first “Arkansas Travelers.”  The Bootstrap Award is presented annually to an individual, organization, or community that has achieved significant success “on a shoestring,” having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances.  The Henry Awards Ceremony began at the 7th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism in 1981 and has become an important part of this gathering of tourism leaders and one of the most prestigious tourism industry awards in Arkansas.

If I got the story correctly, Representative Kelley Linck said in his 15 years as being the Executive Director of the Ozark Mountain Region Tourism Association, we are the only Henry Awards winner from the Ozark Mountain Region!

Congratulations to all of us!  Well done!

I hope we can display our trophy one day soon in our office in the old jail.

Bootstrap award

Governors Conference 1 Governors Conference 2 Governors Conference 3 Governors conference 4

 

Upcoming 2016 Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony

The 2015 Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards Ceremony was a great success, and with the addition of nearly 70 new members since 2013, we expect this year’s event to be special as well.   This years Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 25th 2016, at 6:00 PM at the Searcy County Civic Center in Marshall.

This year’s theme of the event is, “Building a Healthy Searcy County”.

We plan to have 2 special guests and speakers this year.  Former Searcy County resident Dr. Jay Geoghagan from North Little Rock will be the first featured speaker.   Deputy Parks Superintendent Laura Miller will be our second featured speaker.

Again we will be presenting awards for Chamber Business of the year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the year (which can also be a group) and in the Student Category,  Agri Student of the year, Business Student of the year and Science / Technology Student of the Year, and an overall award for Community Service in the county called The “Spirit of Searcy County” Award.

Watch for more information about the Chamber Banquet on the Chamber’s Facebook Page.

 

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2015  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!

Banquet1

The Annual Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce held it’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony last night, February 26th, 2015, at the Searcy County Civic Center.   Nearly 200 were in attendance for the event, and it was a great success.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

 

 

“The Spirit of Searcy County Award”: Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy Lang Holland and State Police Officer Buster “Buckey” Rinks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth Fariss
Business of the Year: Ratchford Farms –  L.C. Ratchford
Employee of the Year: Amanda McCoy – Marshall Medic Pharmacy
Volunteer of the Year: Keith Karnes
Business Student of the Year: Victoria Passmore 1st, Mersady Redding 2nd, Court Turney 3rd
Agriculture Student of the Year: Laykyn Rainbolt 1st, Logan Boyd 2nd, Grace Pepler 3rd
Science/Technology Student of the Year: Seth Stephenson 1st, Taylor Irwin 2nd, Domonique Baheza 3rd

3 of the Student winners (Seth Stephenson, Victoria Passmore and Mersady Redding) were not available for the photo because of a event conflict and are not shown.
(Photo by Bob King Photography)

Award Winners

 

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

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2014  Banquet and Awards Ceremony a huge Success!!

On Thursday, February 27th, 2014 the Officers and many members of the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a banner year for the chamber with the 1st Annual Searcy County Chamber Banquet and Awards Ceremony.   The re-organization of the Searcy County Chamber is 5 years old, and we passed a landmark this past year with over 100 members.  We decided it was time to celebrate.  Around 140 were in attendance for the event and everyone had a great time.

The old Searcy County Chamber was disbanded in the mid 1990’s and previously held a couple banquets during that earlier period, but current chamber member and previous member Bob King said this was by far the best attended event, and the chamber is stronger than ever.

Big Springs Trading Company catered the event with great food, and the food was served by the Girl Scouts.

The keynote Speaker was Lavina Grandon from the Rural Community Alliance.  Lavina, is the past recipient of the Teacher of the Year award, and the Arkansas Rural Person of the Year in 2004.  Lavina gave everyone a rousing and entertaining speech complete with props from the older days of the county, invoices from her birth, and what people paid for various items in past years.  She told of the history of the area, where we are now, and where she things we’re going.

Awards were given in several categories including, Employee of the year, Business of the Year, and Volunteer of the year.  School awards were given for Agri Students of the year, and business student of the year.

See the award winners below.  (Photo by Ron Gillispie of the Marshall Mtn. Wave)

2013awardwinners

Winners from Left to Right are:

  • Shelby Treat   —    Second Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Clark Taylor   —      First Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • James Housley —  Honorable Mention Agri Student of the Year
  • Charmaine Seaton  – Director of the Searcy County Civic Center  – Volunteer of  the Year
  • Nancy Jones, Jeanie Horton, Teresa Jackson, Amanda McCoy, Kelsey Whitelaw  (Medic Pharmacy) — Business of the Year
  • Grace Pepler  — Third Place  Agri Student of the Year
  • Foy Whitelaw with his son Finn — (Ozark Hardwood Flooring)  — Employee of the Year
  • Susan Verhegge  — Business Student of the Year

 

Jack Treat was also presented  his award of Lifetime Achievement for his work with the community and the Searcy County Chamber of Commerce by Chamber Vice President Lee Walsh

Jack Award

 

2015 Searcy County Chamber Progress Report

Facebook Capture 2016

The Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce

12-month Progress Report (Jan – Dec 2015)

(Yes, we need to have more significant accomplishments, but where would we be without all the effort we put in as detailed below? Thanks for all your support!!)

 

  • Chamber membership grew to 169 members!
  • Increased Facebook Friends from 2,783 to 5,376
  • Supported Searcy County events and Chamber businesses on Facebook
  • Maintained a Chamber website
  • Relayed a survey of utilization of the internet in business operations to Chamber members
  • Helped a Chamber member in a quest for better internet in a part of rural Searcy County
  • Solicited new businesses for Searcy County
  • Used the Arkansas Group Travel On-line Sales Leads Distribution System to target many emails to potential tourists and tourist agencies
  • Mailed literature through US Postal Service to persons interested in Searcy County
  • Chamber president answered “numerous” phone calls on an almost 24/7 365-day basis!
  • Chamber president assisted the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation by monthly confirming the status of the properties currently listed on the Entergy Economic Development Site Selection Center website
  • Chamber compiled, maintained, and published Events Calendar for Searcy County
  • Promoted Searcy County for a Feature to The Harrison Daily Times, The Log Cabin Democrat, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Arkansas Living Magazine, Arkansas Life Magazine, Jill Rohrbach, the travel writer for the Arkansas River Valley and Ozarks regions of The Natural State. Arkansas.com, Southern Living Magazine, Inarkansas.com, KARK TV, THV 11, KATV, Fox 16, AY Magazine, and Country Magazine
  • Helped promote an informational meeting for Marshall’s new Odd Fellows Lodge
  • Actively promoted Searcy County as a future movie location
  • Paid for refreshments at an informative meeting of Searcy County Lodging businesses and Agri operations interested in profiting off of Agritourism tours
  • Promoted area job openings on Chamber Facebook and email
  • Updated 2015 Manufacturer’s Directory with Searcy County manufacturers
  • Established a reciprocal associate membership with Arbiz.net and they provided us with additional web exposure
  • Purchased a fabulous tradeshow backdrop for use at chamber events and trade shows!
  • Held successful 2nd Chamber Banquet & Awards Ceremony on 26 Feb in Marshall
  • Recognized Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Spirit of Searcy County Award, and gave out a Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Paid out $900 to award-winning Agriculture, Business, and Science/Technology students from around the county
  • Joined the Ozark Mountain Region, a recognized Arkansas Regional Tourism Association which makes available matching grant funds from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
  • Lee Walsh and Darryl Treat added as administrators on the Ozark Mountain Region Facebook allowed them to further help promote Searcy County
  • 41st annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism March 8-10th in Texarkana.  The registration and hotel combined was $425.  Funded Ruth Pepler for $500 to represent the Chamber at the event!
  • Promoted new Searcy County Events List for 2015 on Chamber Facebook & Website
  • Set up a booth at the MHS Chocolate Roll Festival
  • Thanked trail builders at a potluck for crew members working on the Buffalo River Trail
  • Chamber president attended a CTE Regional Partnership Council Summit on March 20
  • Chamber president supported the Rural Community Alliance’s effort to raise money from the Arkansas Community Foundation who sponsored an on-line giving event for Arkansas nonprofits called Arkansas Gives. On that day anyone who gives to a registered Arkansas nonprofit will have their gift matched dollar for dollar by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as well as some matching by the Arkansas Community Foundation.
  • Started producing and running Searcy County commercials at the Kenda Drive-In (Thanks to Bob King, Gordon Ard, and the Kenda Drive-In)
  • Performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Dance Academy in Marshall
  • Hosted a Buffalo River Partners event in St. Joe and provided some breakfast and snack items
  • Purchased full page Ad in the 2015 Ozark Byways magazine at the cost of $900
  • Manned booth at 2015 Ozark Expo in Harrison promoting Searcy County & Businesses
  • Created and printed 8,000 of the 2015 Community and Relocation Guides
  • Relocation Guides provided for Arkansas Tourism Welcome Centers, Little Rock AFB, and around Searcy County
  • Bob King sent photos to help Governor Hutchinson showcase our one-of-a-kind locations in the county
  • Initiated an “Invest in Searcy County” poster campaign with Shop Local, Eat Local, Invest Local, and Explore Local themes
  • Steven Newby worked to gather information needed to start a Spelling Bee for Searcy County. Achieved! Searcy County now has a Spelling Bee!
  • Updated Congressman Crawford’s information about Searcy County for his website
  • Updated paragraph for Searcy County at the Association of Arkansas Counties website
  • Met with Beth Anne Rankin about the Section 529 GIFT College Investing Plan account program and facilitated the placing of entry forms in Marshall banks for a $529 prize
  • Chamber president met with a representative from Sen. Tom Cotton’s office on 23 April
  • Conducted a Facebook contest with Sweet Honeysuckle Boutique of Marshall to promote Searcy County businesses and shopping locally
  • Chamber member Debbie Harmon of Poison Ivy Soap Company, manned booth at the 5th Annual Health and Safety Fair April 25 at the Civic Center
  • Performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Searcy County Rural Help Center in St. Joe
  • Hosted Arkansas Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan at chamber meeting in May
  • Purchased Searcy County Fair Association 2015 Fair Catalogue Ad
  • Working with Searcy County Fair Association to help them acquire a Hub Commercial Kitchen for the Searcy County Fairgrounds aiding them and area small farmers
  • Chamber advertised in “Living in Arkansas Magazine” with matching funds from Ozark Mountain Region. The Ozark Mountain Region saved the chamber 40% or about $1,200 leaving us about $1,770 owed for the Ad.
  • Worked with MHS EAST Club to develop literature for motorcycle routes. 1,000 brochures purchased.
  • Offered to loan our sound system to the Historical Society for the 26th Annual North Ark Ancestor Fair in Marshall
  • Agri-Tourism Committee flyers have been prepared describing six tours. S.C. Agri tourism has a Facebook page and tours offered for $20 per family
  • Working on establishing Country Music Monument for Elton Britt in the county as tourism attraction and heritage preservation
  • Invited the Arkansas Military Veteran’s Hall of Fame to consider a permanent location for the hall of fame here in Searcy County!
  • Working to help J & H Custom Furniture of Pindall sell their factory to someone who will keep manufacturing here in Searcy County
  • Chamber participated in a bridge dedication for the largest privately owned suspension bridge in Arkansas!!! Ribbon cutting ceremony in Zack was June 29th with Aux Arc Wilderness Cabins
  • Chamber president and board president participated in a round-table discussion with visiting Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on June 29th
  • Chamber members Lynda Hensley and Darryl Treat completed and filed the 2015 Annual Report for Nonprofit Corporation to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office
  • Purchased three literature racks to get out chamber member literature in the county
  • Provided inputs for the Arkansas Tour Guide listing for 2016
  • New Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors: President Lynda Hensley, Board Members Billie Reed, Jeff Stansbery, Lee Walsh, Thomas Pepler, and Bob King
  • Procured economic statistics from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to support the Searcy County Economic Development Corporation
  • Purchased Marshall Mountain Wave Advertisement highlighting Chamber members
  • Pursued hosting the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame in Searcy County
  • Chamber members Lee Walsh and Darryl Treat worked on tennis courts at the Civic Center.  Ribbon cutting ceremony held.
  • $100 check given to the Searcy County Premium Livestock Association for their Jackpot
  • $100 check given to the Marshall Grade School for the School Store
  • Supported Farm Family of the Year and the Searcy County Fair by taking advertisements
  • Chamber member Trena Patterson and L.A. Salon of Leslie promoted Searcy County and Leslie at her booth Aug 14 & 15 at the 11th Annual Mountain, Music & Motorcycles & 4th Annual Car Show at Mountain View!
  • Richard Groves and Matt Pinson manned our booth at the Searcy County Fair
  • Chamber president filmed for Ratchford Farms Film Project
  • Ribbon Cutting: Ryan’s Main Street Grill in Leslie 12 September
  • Ribbon Cutting: Mossy Oak Properties between Marshall & Leslie, 23 September
  • Promoted Ozark Byways Buydays (Junkfest)  23-26 September. Spent $100 on advertising on ESPN radio
  • Helped host the 8th Annual Flying Jam, 3 October in Marshall
  • Chamber of commerce engagement resulted in Parks & Tourism combining our two motorcycle routes and putting them in their 2016 Arkansas Motorcycle Guide and on their website!!!!
  • Updated Marshall page for Arkansas.com
  • Worked to help market old bank building on the square in Marshall
  • Designated $200 contribution to help fund Fall Homestead Days in Cozahome
  • Designated $150 sponsorship of the 1st Annual Pedestal Rock 20 & 40 Mile Bicycle Ride in Witts Springs
  • Designated $25 sponsorship of the Leslie Mountain Man Rendezvous
  • Purchased $50 advertisement in the St. Joe Yearbook
  • Purchased 200 new chamber of commerce window stickers from Sozo Graphics for $110
  • Purchased 1,000 additional motorcycle brochures from Sozo Graphics
  • Donated $100 to the St. Joe Depot Museum in memory of former St. Joe Mayor John Henley
  • Gave a $75 sponsorship to support the Great American Smokeout BBQ Cook Off
  • $100 donation to the Searcy County Rural Help Center in St. Joe to help make sure that all children at the St. Joe school receiving a Christmas present.
  • Approved a budget for 2016

Advertising                         $5,640

Booths/Events                   $1,800

Banquet                              $1,680

Housekeeping                    $1,080

Old Jail Office                     $1,800

Total                                   $12,000

  • Submitted a nomination for the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism Bootstrap Award, for achieving significant success on a shoestring having limited means to work with, either in resources or finances.
  • Gave a $100 sponsorship for The Teddy Bear drive that is collecting Teddy Bears 18″ and under at the door for distribution to area First Responders, Fire Fighters, and Police Officers for gift to children touched by the auto accidents, domestic violence, fires and other sudden, life-altering tragedies.
  • Purchased Christmas lights for the SC Courthouse and promoted lighting ceremony
  • Chamber entered into a 2-year lease of the old jail in Marshall
  • Coordinated with the IOOF Marshall Lodge #1 to hold a Community Thanksgiving in Marshall
  • Lobbied to have Searcy County included in the Arkansas Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
  • Purchased 1,000 business cards
  • Agreed to pursue production of a Searcy County Coloring Book based on Loni Kelley’s idea. Designed by Steven Newby. Book Ad purchased for $300
  • Chamber president interviewed on 9 Dec. for the Rural Community Alliance newsletter
  • $100 sponsorship and radio time on “Searcy County Natural Flow” on KABF radio 88.3 FM in Little Rock promoting Searcy County. Chamber president interviewed by Jeff Stansbery on air 11 December. Ruth Pepler promoted Agritourism on 18 December. Kristen Dornburg of STAR Entertainment on the 25 December broadcast.
  • Working to get a Jefferson Lines bus stop in Searcy County and cooperate with them to promote their business and tourism in Searcy County
  • 2016 Chamber Officers elected: President:  Darryl Treat, Vice President:  Bob King, Treasurer:  Alesha Collier, Secretary:  Matt Pinson, Historian:  David Garmoe, and Technology Coordinator: Lee Walsh
  • Adopted “Buffalo River Historic Jail” for our coming attraction in the old jail
  • Worked with Rep. David Branscum to push for the timely completion of the Buffalo River Trail
  • Ran a Facebook “Attractions” countdown of 14 Searcy County attractions

 

Onward to 2016!!

 

Pedestal Rock 20 & 40 Mile Bicycle Ride

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1st Annual Pedestal Rock 20- & 40-Mile Bicycle Ride! The ride is Saturday, November 7th starting at 9 AM at Witts Springs Community Center.  Check in / Registration 7:30-8:30.  Twenty mile ride and Forty mile ride.  Shirts to all registered riders.  Lunch included for first 200 pre-registered riders!

2,800 total feet of ascents and 2,800 feet of descents (40 mile portion), essentially a neutral ride at the start and turnaround.

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The ride starts at the Witts Springs Community Center at the intersection of Highway 377 and Highway 16 in Witts Springs, Arkansas. Two routes are offered, both winding through the beautiful Ozark National Forest. The 20-mile ride is from the Community Center to Raspberry Bend and back; the 40-mile ride is from the Community Center to the Pedestal Rock Scenic area and back.

(You cannot actually see Pedestal Rock from the turnaround point.) Go to www.pedestalrock40ride.com for all the details and online registration.

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They have a lofty goal of getting 200 RIDERS to attend this challenging, but fun & beautiful finish to the riding season. They will be posting three videos for riders as well; one highlighting Pedestal Rock, one highlighting the riders village where you can tent camp or RV camp the night before and enjoy a donation dinner along with free use of the showers, bathroom and gym! Danishes and coffee in the morning. Finally, a safety video sharing insights on the ride! PLEASE Consider the 20 mile ride if you’re not ready for a 40. They need as many riders as possible to make the inaugural ride a success.

ADVISORY: This ride is in a rural and isolated part of Arkansas. Residents depend on volunteer rescue squads during emergency medical situations. The closest hospitals from the starting point are approximately 50 miles away. Ride organizers and volunteers trust that participants will keep this information in mind and ride safely and responsibly. Some ascents and descents are intense; this is not a ride for beginners. This is not a race. Enjoy the view!  HELMETS ARE REQUIRED. The ride supports the efforts of work being done by Community Voices to strengthen their community and keep their facilities open for use by the public for conventions, business meetings, entertainment, ball games, and more. Community Voices is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so your donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.

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Searcy County Farmer’s Markets!!

Searcy County has three Farmer’s Markets!

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The farmer’s market in Marshall is Fridays from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. Held at the berry shed, come for produce, eggs, crafts, and entertainment.  For more information, please call Nikki at 870-448-5196.

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Farmers 2

 

Cove Creek Emporium hosts a farmer’s market in downtown Leslie. Market is from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon every Saturday throughout the growing season. Vendors-Farmers welcome. They have an awning and building, so weather will not be an issue. Call Dottie Mayes at 870-448-6287 for more information or message her on Facebook.

Farmers 1 Cove Creek

Witts Springs Farmers Market is on Mondays from 6 p.m. till about 7 p.m. at the community park across the street from Cindy’s Country Store.

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2014 Award Winners – Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce

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The Annual Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce held it’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony last night, February 26th, 2015, at the Searcy County Civic Center.   Nearly 200 were in attendance for the event, and it was a great success.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Johnston

 

 

“The Spirit of Searcy County Award”: Searcy County Sheriff’s Deputy Lang Holland and State Police Officer Buster “Buckey” Rinks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Kenneth Fariss
Business of the Year: Ratchford Farms –  L.C. Ratchford
Employee of the Year: Amanda McCoy – Marshall Medic Pharmacy
Volunteer of the Year: Keith Karnes
Business Student of the Year: Victoria Passmore 1st, Mersady Redding 2nd, Court Turney 3rd
Agriculture Student of the Year: Laykyn Rainbolt 1st, Logan Boyd 2nd, Grace Pepler 3rd
Science/Technology Student of the Year: Seth Stephenson 1st, Taylor Irwin 2nd, Domonique Baheza 3rd

3 of the Student winners (Seth Stephenson, Victoria Passmore and Mersady Redding) were not available for the photo because of a event conflict and are not shown.
(Photo by Bob King Photography)

Award Winners

2014 Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce Award Winners

 

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

Spirit of Searcy County Award Winners.

Social Media Strategies for Small Business Seminar

 

See our official announcement for the Free Social Media Strategies for Small Business Seminar below.    You must register for this event to be held on Tuesday June 25th at the Searcy County Library, from 4-7 PM.   This will give you some great information about how to promote your business to help make it successful on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.   This event is co-sponsored by the Greater Searcy County Chamber of Commerce.

See the registration information below, and please email the chamber also at webmaster@searcycountyarkansas.org  if you plan to attend so we’ll have an idea on the numbers.   This Seminar will be limited to approximately 25-30 participants, and we’ve already had a lot of interest, so don’t delay.

 

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5 Social Media Strategies for the Small Business
June 25
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Searcy County Library, Marshall AR
Cost: FREE

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center presents 5 Social Media Strategies for the Small Business. Not sure where to begin with social media or are you using social media to promote your small business but not sure how to integrate all the outlets you use? Do you know how to properly use your Facebook page analytics and insights to gauge success? Businesses of all sizes are using online tools like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and blogs to connect with customers. We’ll show you five low-cost ways social media can bolster your current marketing efforts, current trends and recent changes in Facebook and Pintrest, and you’ll leave with your own social media marketing or update plan to better locate your target customers online, and what it could mean for your business if you aren’t involved in social networking. The ASBTDC is able to present this seminar at no cost to Arkansas small business owners due to a joint partnership with Connect Arkansas, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to increasing high-speed internet and adoption throughout Arkansas. Connect Arkansas is a project of The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group (ACCG). Within the partnership, participant information may be shared with ACCG. Drinks and snacks will be provided. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED at sbtdc.uark.edu or call 1 (479) 575-5148 to register by phone; event is free for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Event co-sponsor: Searcy County Arkansas Chamber of Commerce.

 

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Veterans Program on Memorial Day

Please make time for Remembrance on Memorial Day.

The Veterans of Searcy County have a special Memorial Day speaker this year in Marshall on the courthouse square on Monday, May 27th at 11 a.m.  Major General (Retired) Ron Chastain, a former Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, will be the guest speaker.  General Chastain is a veteran of two wars and received his military commission through ROTC at Arkansas Tech.  He worked for over 30 years for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.  He currently serves as Senator John Boozman’s agricultural liaison in Arkansas.

After the ceremony on the square, you are invited to have a free lunch provided at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Marshall.

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