Sara Ray

The Douglas County Chamber is preparing to celebrate National Small Business Week, which runs from April 30 to May 6.

The week is meant to focus on and celebrate local businesses and their impacts on their community.

"Basically, it is a week to focus on the importance of small businesses in the community," said Chamber Vice President Sara Ray. "It is more like a marketing campaign and an awareness program. What we do from a Chamber perspective is we use that as an opportunity to promote and support businesses for the advancement of the community. We use that as an opportunity to help promote our small businesses throughout … that week."

The Chamber plans to spotlight five local businesses in a short video -- one video for each business -- and broadcast them via Facebook Live from May 1 to May 5. The 5-minute video will provide awareness to the community about local businesses as well as give the businesses a chance to get word out about themselves.

Whitney Constien, communications coordinator for the Chamber, will only film Chamber members that have been in business for more than two years and are willing to be aired on Facebook Live.

"I'll go to the business and film them," explained Constien. "They will tell me who they are, where their business is located, what they do, why they chose to do business in Douglas County and what they love about doing business in the county and the community and then anything else that they want to promote about their business. It is short, sweet and to the point to give the community a behind-the-scenes look at what our small businesses do on a day-to-day basis."

When it comes to citizens supporting local businesses and participating in National Small Business Week, Constien offered a few suggestions.

"Go visit a small business in the community, whether it be one that we feature on and spotlight or one that you already know of," said Constien. "Go thank them for what they do or go support them by buying a product or anything like that."

"We encourage people to shop locally," added Ray. "We make people more aware of the importance of shopping locally because when you shop local, the tax money is invested back into your community. If you are going to Atlanta to go to dinner, they are benefiting from your dinner when you can eat locally at great restaurants here and know that the tax dollars are going towards better public safety, roads, schools for the kids and things like that that will have an impact on not only you but the future of the community and your kids. Knowing that by shopping locally you are contributing to the greater good for the future is a feel-good thing."

Throughout National Small Business Week, the Chamber is also encouraging businesses to submit applications for the Small Business of Excellence.

"Basically, those are rock star businesses in the community," said Ray. "It is an application selection process and we recognize those businesses in July."

In addition to the application, the Chamber is promoting a summit called Business Owner Sharing Solutions, or BOSS, which is taking place May 10 at West Georgia Technical College.

"It is open to anybody in the community," said Ray. "We are going to have two sessions. We are going to have one on social media and improving your social media presence. Then we are going to have one on becoming a customer experience rock star. We are basically bringing in rock stars from the community who are business owners that are super great at social media or at customer service."

Citizens and business owners can register through the Chamber's website at

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