US Chamber of Commerce 5-Star AccreditationThe United States Chamber of Commerce today awarded the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community.

Of the 6,936 chambers in the United States, only 44 are Accredited with 5-Stars. This places the Halifax County Chamber among the most elite chambers in the country and in the top .6%. Only 301 (4%) of chambers are Accredited at any level.

"Accreditation recognizes chambers for their high standards of practice, full accountability to members, and steadfast commitment to community," said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise."

Accreditation is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive Accreditation, a chamber must meet rigorous standards in their operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs, program development, staff development, finance, communications, facilities, technology, and benchmarking. This extensive self-review can take 3-6 months to complete. In order to maintain Accreditation, chambers must go through this process and re-apply to the U.S. Chamber every five years.

Local chambers are rated Accredited, 3-Stars, 4-Stars, or 5-Stars. State chambers are recognized as either Accredited State Chamber or Accredited State Chamber with Distinction. The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of the U.S. Chamber board members.

"The Halifax County Chamber of Commerce's Five Star Accreditation rating clearly validates the incredible work of the staff and volunteers and the extraordinary support of the membership," stated Sandra Thompson, immediate past chairman of the Chamber board. "I am thrilled that the U.S. Chamber has recognized our local Chamber's commitment to improving the business climate and enhancing the quality of life in Southside Virginia."

"The Chamber is commended for making significant progress in meeting its short-term goals, including exploring alternative communications with members through the chamber's Web site and the local newspapers and increasing the effectiveness of the Chamber's government affairs program through a new Web site advocacy portal," stated the Accrediting Board in written comments. "The Chamber's Web site is impressive, hosting a variety of interactive programs like online networking, committee message boards, and an advocacy center allowing members to contact their legislators about business issues."

In final comments, the Accrediting Board wrote, "The Halifax County Chamber of Commerce has done an excellent job in many areas, and has implemented a wide variety of valuable and successful programs for the membership. We at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are proud to accredit the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce with our highest level of recognition: the 5-Star ranking. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement!"

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

The Halifax County Chamber of Commerce is a business organization with more than 415 members serving the Halifax County area. Its mission is to serve the interest of its members by providing products, programs and services that are of direct benefit to the members, and by influencing issues that affect the economic vitality of our community.