New Kent Chamber of Commerce Up and Running

On Tuesday, February 8, 2000, a small group concerned about economic development in New Kent County gathered for the second time at Sun's Cafe at the Nellie Custis Motel on Route 60 in Quinton.  They met to discuss the County's plans for connecting Bottoms Bridge to the Henrico waste water treatment system and the effect on New Kent County of the proposed Virginia State Fairgrounds in Eastern Henrico.

The group adopted the name "Bottoms Bridge Area Business Property Owners Association" suggested by Providence Forge Realtor Paul Robinson and selected as interim co-chairs Developer Tolar Nolley and Realtor Mark Daniel, to serve until an organization could be formally established and officers elected.

Action was taken to contact the Atlantic Rural Exposition endorsing the Eastern Henrico location for the Virginia State Fair and to make a presentation regarding waste water treatment to the New Kent Board of Supervisors at their March meeting.

As the meeting proceeded, John Crump, New Kent County Commissioner of Revenue, suggested revitalizing the New Kent Chamber of Commerce.  At the following meeting on February 23, it was decided to merge the Bottoms Bridge organization into the Chamber.

On Wednesday, March 8, 2000 with 17 persons present, a meeting to reorganize the New Kent Chamber of Commerce was held at Whitmore Chevrolet in Eltham.  Mark Daniel was elected Interim President and Stran Trout interim Secretary.  Elsie McLaughlin would continue as Treasurer.

The Chamber had been established in 1973 as the New Kent-Charles City Chamber of Commerce but had dropped Charles City from its name in 1985.  It was an active organization, affiliated with the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce, publishing maps and brochures promoting business in the County, and maintaining the chamber desk at Heritage library.

In 1989 with the leadership of President Thelma Crump Wilson the Chamber began its promotion of Horseracing in the County, sponsoring a booth at the Richmond Metro Chamber's Annual Small Business Show and a promotional trailer at the Wakefield Shad Planking.  Willie Daniel held several Steak Feasts at his Nellie Custis Motel to raise funds for the Chamber's activities.       

Although less active in recent years, the New Kent Chamber has had a booth at the New Kent County Fair, and has presented a $250 scholarship each year to a graduating Senior from New Kent High School. 

"Now, the New Kent Chamber of Commerce is back."  said Chamber President Mark Daniel; "We are reorganizing the New Kent Chamber of Commerce as a unified and effective voice for businesses and business minded people in our community." 

On Wednesday, April 12, over 50 businesspersons and interested citizens met at David's White House Restaurant in Providence Forge.  The meeting was highlighted by presentations by the Atlantic Rural Exposition on plans for relocating the Virginia State Fairgrounds, and by the developers of Brickshire, a new golf course community near Colonial Downs.

At the end of 2002 the New Kent Chamber is over 100 members strong and working for New Kent County. 

If you are interested in the New Kent Chamber of Commerce, contact David Horsley.

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