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Heart of Marengo Chamber finding success countywide

Committees formed to determine community needs

Heart of Marengo Chamber of Commerce has a simple and straightforward mission statement, according to Chairman of the Board Kenneth Barrineau.

“To strengthen member business and stimulate reasonable prosperity,” Barrineau said.

The organization is less than a year old and already has over a hundred members, including 13 board members, working together to improve all areas of Marengo County.

“We’re from north Marengo to south Marengo to east and west and everywhere in between,” Barrineau said.

Currently there are 10 committees in place, each one focusing on a different need of the county such as events, beautification and grants. There are also committees working with local mayors to find out what the needs are in their area, which will be brought to the board and added to the chambers strategy for county improvement.

“What we’ve seen in the last few months is a rejuvenated hope in Marengo County,” he said.

Members of the chamber of commerce are also working on little projects while the events committee takes on bigger ones. Beautification efforts in Linden have placed flowerpots and flower baskets around the city. Benches are also expected to be coming soon. The chamber is also working on getting a website up and running.

The events committee is currently planning an event for Autism Awareness Month scheduled for April 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ChiLLy Fest Park in Linden.

The chamber of commerce has made serious efforts to include all parts of Marengo County, especially areas that may not get enough attention. According to Barrineau, it’s been successful.

“People just felt like they had no representation and they were missing out on participating in a lot of things,” he said.

The organization also aims to grow and promote small businesses in the county.

“When they join, we try to promote anything that they’re doing,” he said.

Barrineau said that five members are major contributors who go above and beyond what is asked of them, 28 are charter members, 30 are small business owners and the rest are individuals.

They currently meet once a month at the Linden Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, but the time changes to suit attendees. Location will also vary so members from each part of the county will have the ability to attend.

Those interested in joining can fill out an application and pay the appropriate fees. Membership for a business with more than 10 employees is $250. Membership for a business with 10 or fewer employees is $100. Membership for an individual or a retired couple is $50.

Meetings are open to the public. To attend a meeting, call Kenneth Barrineau at 334-295-8141.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, March 28 issue of the Demopolis Times.)