Mon, May 20, 2024

Columbia County Chamber gearing up for busy spring

While Augusta is in the spotlight at this time of year, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is preparing to offer a slate of events heading into the summer.

Up first will be the return of the Business Institute, a series of four workshops held in May, June, July, and August. The series focuses on hot topics for businesses.

Three of the four topics have been selected, Madalyn Brantley, Director of Programs and Events for the Columbia County Chamber, told ABD.

“This year’s topics range from HR, how to hire and how to fire, telling your story through digital media, like YouTube and podcasts, things of that nature, and creating an evergreen pipeline of recruiting customers,” she explained, adding they are finalizing the fourth session’s topic.

The first session is on May 7, starting at 8:00 a.m. The topic will be “How to Hire, How to Fire.” The speaker will be Beth McLeod of Fulcher Hagler, LLP, an expert in employment law.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to be constantly learning and also an opportunity for our members to get together in a smaller setting and talk about things that they’re facing in their businesses, and learn from each other on what’s working, what’s not working,” said Brantley.

All four workshops are held at the Columbia County Exhibition Center. The sessions are open to Columbia County Chamber members and non-members. More information and registration is at:

Fast on the heels of this year’s inaugural Business Institute workshop will be the annual post-legislative breakfast. Keynote speaker will be Representative Jon Burns, Speaker of the Georgia House. He will provide insights into the just-ended 2024 legislative sessions.

The breakfast follows a recent news release by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce highlighting some of the legislation that is most impactful for the state’s business community.

The release lists more than a dozen bills awaiting the Governor’s signature, including several dealing with assorted state taxes and exemptions:

House Bill 808 – Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Increase 

HB 808 raises the sales tax exemption threshold of tangible personal property from $7,500 to $20,000.

House Bill 1015 – Personal Income Tax Rate Reduction 

HB 1015 accelerates the reduction of the state’s personal income tax by ten basis points to 5.39%, effective for the 2024 tax year.

House Bill 1019 – Homestead Tax Exemption Increase  

HB 1019 increases the statewide homestead exemption from $2,000 to $4,000, the first increase since 1978.

House Bill 1021 – Child Tax Credit Exemption Increase  

HB 1021 increases the child tax deduction from $3,000 to $4,000 per child.

House Bill 1023 – Corporate Income Tax Parity 

HB 1023 aims to reduce the state’s flat corporate income tax rate from 5.75% to match the personal income tax rate.

“The Chamber team, our investors, and stakeholders across the state worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of Georgia’s thriving business community,” David Raynor, Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Georgia Chamber, is quoted in the release. “We join alongside our statewide partners and elected officials in celebrating the legislative victories of the 2024 Session, including measures taken for meaningful tort reform, infrastructure investment, updates for occupational licensing, and workforce development initiatives – all of which are significant for Georgia’s future prosperity.”

The breakfast will be at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on May 9, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Additional information and registration is at:

Later this month is the deadline to apply to participate in the 2025 Leadership Columbia County, a program showing business and area leader’s opportunities and challenges facing the county. The day-long, 10-month program will expose participants to topics ranging from law enforcement to economic and workforce development and healthcare.

The deadline to apply is April 19:

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