Kingsport Chamber outlines plans, looks ahead to big year in 2018

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KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – While many are counting down to Christmas, the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce is already looking ahead to what the new year will bring.

At the annual Chamber Holiday Breakfast on Friday, Kingsport’s top business leaders outlined their priorities for 2018. And the mood there was clear, 2017 was a big year for the city, but 2018 could be a year like they’ve never had before.

“One of the highlight features for next year will be two gubernatorial candidate forums being hosted by the Kingsport Chamber,” said incoming chair, Bob Feathers.

The first in the spring, Feathers says, and another in the works for the fall.

Other things on the agenda include supporting two huge projects for East Tennessee.

One is the merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System into Ballad Health.

“The Kingsport Chamber has programs that are specifically unique that could play a significant role in the support of the community health benefit initiatives that have been outlined by both the state of Virginia and the state of Tennessee,” Feathers said.

Programs like Healthy Kingsport.

Another project gaining the Chamber’s continued support is Aerospace Park, located right next to the Tri-Cities Airport and designed specifically for aerospace industry.

“It literally could mean the future of our community and how important it is to creating more jobs, high paying jobs,” said Chamber President and CEO, Miles Burdine.

All three are big but really just the tip of the iceberg for the Chamber, with even more to look forward to ahead.

“All three of them are critical and all three of them don’t happen every year,” Burdine said.

A big part of the day was also highlighting some of the Chamber’s biggest accomplishments for 2017, and just to name a few: more than 30 businesses celebrated ribbon cuttings or groundbreakings in Kingsport, Fun Fest marked its 37th festival, and Visit Kingsport drew in more than 44,000 visitors – an economic impact there totaling $38 million.Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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