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January 31, 2023

The Chamber’s 75th Year

Key objectives for 2023 have been outlined and are in the works By Amile Wilson The Bolivar Bullet Founded in 1948, the Cleveland Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 75th Anniversary this year. Serving as the umbrella organization for tourism and Main Street as well as traditional Chamber of Commerce and economic development duties means they have quite a bit on their plate.  Not only has tourism and economic development increased year-over-year, many numbers are higher even compared to pre-COVID statistics. Cleveland’s recent 50 Nights of Lights had a 247 percent increase in attendance year-over-year. The winter- wonderland featuring over 1,000,000 lights drew both locals and tourists. To downtown to see the extravagant displays. The Chamber handles both the city and county and serves as home for the entire local economic development offices. This helps unify efforts but also means that the Chamber has a lot on its plate.   This year, the Chamber has outlined key objectives for each of their program areas.  Chamber of Commerce  Provide programming and resources to members Grow membership  Increase the volunteer base to help with events  Economic Development Seek funding sources and make improvements to industrial sites in Bolivar County Market available industrial sites  Support existing businesses and industry through programming and resources  Economic and Chamber activities to support these goals include employee retention workshops, job fairs, professional development and other group events. In 2022 Cleveland became “Certified Retirement Community” under the Welcome Home Mississippi program. Chamber efforts will focus on promoting and recruiting based on that designation.   Cleveland Retirement Community  Promote the retirement designation to the community and region Work with the state-wide Welcome Home Mississippi to inform them of opportunities in Cleveland Promote and market the designation through Delta State University alumni outlets  Shopping local gives a double service to the community. First by supporting local businesses, and second by keeping sales tax dollars local. The Cleveland Main Street office is focused on developing downtown business activity. Team Cleveland Main Street  Increase sales tax and retail revenues through events and promotions downtown Market downtown and surrounding anchor streets as a location for new business Implement plans and seek additional funding to improve public amenities Tourism is about both bringing people in and about providing activity for local residents. Tourism Commission  Promote attractions dealing with outdoor recreation, civil rights, and new events. Promote Cleveland as a destination for meetings and conferences. Develop a stronger relationship with other Delta communities to promote the region as a whole. Tourism numbers are already up 10% from last year and new initiatives – especially ones that focus on outdoor recreation are expected to drive that number up even more. “This coming year we’ll be expanding a lot into developing not only Cleveland but Bolivar County,” said Sean Johnson, Director of Tourism. “There’s a lot of history and a lot of culture and recreation here. We have some initiatives to nudge our way more into the blues conversation especially in international travel.” Johnson has only been in

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The Bolivar Bullet is Cleveland, Mississippi’s one and only newspaper. The publication reports news and other editorial content that is important to the community. The paper also  highlights the positive aspects of life in Cleveland and Bolivar County. 
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