Fairfield Chamber of Commerce

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce is a very active force in the small, rural community located in Freestone County. From the Annual Show of Wheels in September, the Harlem Ambassador Event in February or the Eggstravaganza in the spring, the Chamber purposefully works to enhance the colorfulness of the community. These activities regularly hosted by the Chamber promote small businesses in Fairfield. Brenda Pate, the Executive Director for the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, originally came to the Navarro SBDC in 2012 for QuickBooks training and support. Business Advisor, Amy Freeman, has provided QuickBooks direction consistently over the last four years.

In the summer of 2015, Brenda began talking with Amy about obtaining a loan to repair the log cabin style building the Chamber owns. They discussed how much that would cost and considered other areas of improvement that could be included in the loan such as new flooring and lighting in the board room. Amy explained that it would be a good idea to refinance the remaining balance on the commercial loan that the Chamber presently had on the building at the same time. Amy demonstrated for Brenda how to utilize an amortization calculator to determine her payments. In future appointments, discussion was had about obtaining enough money to upgrade the signage outside to a modern, electric sign.

When two local banks came back with offers, Amy assisted Brenda in comparing the opportunities, so that Brenda could present them to the board. Ultimately, the board was able to obtain a $61,000 loan. The Chamber remodeled the board room, obtained the electric LED sign, repaired the log cabin exterior and refinanced the original note.

Brenda stated, “Through Amy’s knowledge, I have been able to grow and gain confidence in the financial aspect of this position. Small business Chamber membership has been retained and expanded through the ideas that have been discussed between Amy and me. Through brainstorming efforts with Amy, the Chamber has started activities such as the Surprise Patrol, Cash Mob and Morning Joe. We have developed a great friendship.”

Amy will continue to provide resources for Brenda as the Chamber expands its influence in the community.