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Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce

Total Qualifying Score: 9
County (ARC Region): Yes
State (ARC Region): Yes
Q3. IRS Status: Nonprofit – 2
Q4. Parent Entity: Yes – 0
Q5. 2 or More Full-Time Employees : Yes (as of 12/31/2019)
Q7. Budget Level: $250,001 to $1.5 million – 5 (Last Fiscal Year Actual Income)
Q8. Restricted Reserves: No – 1
Q9. CARES Act Funding: No – 1
Q13. Participation by Executive: Yes


Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce
Toccoa, Stephens County, Georgia 30577

County (ARC Region) Stephens
State (ARC Region) Georgia


Q1. Mission:

Our mission is always to serve, promote, and protect every member of the Chamber of Commerce in order to help them grow and prosper.

Q2. How organization aligns with ARC’s Plan & Goals:

The two goals which clearly coincide with our work at The Chamber would be the following:

  1. Strengthen Appalachia’s community and economic development potential by leveraging the Region’s natural and cultural heritage assets. We live in such a beautiful part of the country packed with rich history which are obvious assets to tout. The Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber oversees the responsibility of Tourism through the management of our Regional Visitor Information Center. In doing so, our big focus is natural and cultural heritage from Toccoa Falls hiking trails, Lake Hartwell fishing and outdoor activities to Traveler’s Rest, Currahee Military Museum, Camp Toccoa @ Currahee where all the WWII Paratroopers trained. The invitation for others to come experience Toccoa-Stepehns County and bring their business to call this home is always on the forefront with us.
  2. Build the capacity and skills of current and next-generation leaders and organizations to innovate, collaborate, and advance community and economic development. We oversee our Leadership Toccoa-Stephens County Program. Strong leadership is an essential ingredient in the continuing development of a community. Leadership Toccoa-Stephens County, sponsored by the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, provides existing and emerging business leaders with unique opportunities to enhance their civic knowledge of Stephens County, to sharpen their leadership skills and to connect with leaders from across the community. This program has provided participants a better understanding of how our community works, opportunity to build relationships with the region’s leaders and inspiration to use their talents to serve the community and encourage economic growth.

Q3. IRS Filing Status: 501(c)(6)   

Q4. Unit or Chapter of Larger Organization: Yes

Q5. Employees:

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 2/1 (as of 9/1/2020)

Full-Time/Part-Time Employees: 2/0 (as of 12/31/2019)

Current Year Income/Expenses: $188120/$188120

Q6. Fiscal Year: July-June

Q7. Budget Level

Last Fiscal Year Income/Expenses (Actual): $261282 / $227716

Current Year Income/Expenses (Projected): $188120 / $188120

Balance Sheet

Q8. Restricted Reserves (Amount): No ($)

Q9. CARES Act Funding (Amount): No ($)
Received From:   Date Received:
For What Purpose(s):

Q10. Negative Impacts from COVID-19:

As the Chamber of Commerce we have had to adjust and fine tune our position since the pandemic hit to remain the “goto resource” for our local business community. All of a sudden the world looked different and we were the source of calm and reassurance through offering helpful and relevant  resources, encouragement and collaboration, the glue to help draw together, connect and keep the community strong. The pandemic has challenged us all and taught us much in the process. The direct impact to us has been financial. We are accustomed to hosting both socially and financially successful community events. Of course the normalcy of gathering together came to an immediate halt. Without warning, our game changed.

Q11. Top Three Concerns:
Fifty percent of our normal operating is based on non-member dues revenue. My concern is how best to anticipate and budget accordingly. Our Hotel/Motel Tax dollars have been drastically impacted in ways which may now change the revenue stream to our Chamber forever. Looking for ways to adjust yet still maintain our level of excellence in all we do.
The uncertainty of furture events and the financial support they bring makes it challenging to plan. We are now looking daily for fresh reliable and creative ways to work around this challenge.
Our goal is to be the most powerful small business resource on the planet for our members. Be relevant. Some good old Chamber things which have “always been done this way” may no longer be valuable and need to be let go.

How Participation in Program Will Address Concerns:

It is my hope to find fresh new ideas and how to best incorporate change to help us plan accordingly for our continued future success for our Chamber and for our local business community.


Q12. Applying as a Proposed Cohort? No

Q13. Executive Director or CEO Will Participate in the Program? Yes

Q14. Top Two Choices for Cohort Instruction:

Course #1 Choice: 1-Fundraising

Course #2 Choice: 2-Long-term Financial Management

Q15. Desired Course Schedule for Cohort Instruction:

#1 Desired Course Schedule: 1-Fall 2020: 6-Week Course (Nov. 9, 2020 – Dec. 18, 2020)

#2 Desired Course Schedule: 2-Winter 2021 A: 5-Week Course (Jan. 25, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2021)


Name: Julie Paysen, President

Application Approved by Organization Director or CEO? Yes, Approved by Executive Director/CEO

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