Top of Virginia Regional Chamber celebrates 95th anniversary

WINCHESTER, VA- It's the driving force in any community. Local business. And the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber has helped it thrive for the last 95 years.

In 1917 business leaders started the Winchester Chamber of Commerce.

"A group of business people came together and thought that the community needed an association of business people," says Randy Collins, President of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber.

It later became the heartbeat of the community.

"The chamber, nearly 100 years ago, was more of a community organization, a civic club," Collins says. "It did a lot of different things from parades to fundraising campaigns."

The chamber has evolved over the years to focus more on the local economy and small business growth. Chamber leaders say their founders felt that a strong chamber of commerce could be the reason people would move to the Winchester area.

"They would call ahead to economic development and say, 'How strong is the chamber? Is it vibrant? Does it help create business and help drive business in the community?'" says Guevremont. "The importance of having a strong chamber is vital to any community's success."

Chamber leaders say they're now focused on social media.

"Almost all the companies that are being successful have a strong social media campaign," Guevremont says. "So, the chamber is going to have a new app coming. You will be able to have it on your smart phone. You will be able to do a lot of cool things from the app. We're going to increase our Facebook and our Twitter."

They say it is just the beginning for better business to come.

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