The Shelby County Chamber had a successful year in 2021, as Immediate Chairman Chris Grace reported during the chamber’s Jan. 26 Business Outlook luncheon.

Despite being unable to meet to hold gatherings until the last day month, this chamber was able to host the chamber’s 104 meetings, programs, and other occasions. It also offered sixty virtual events for entrepreneurs to meet and learn how to grow their businesses.

“The programs weren’t just about events. They offered opportunities to discuss careers-related programs with the future workforce of our schools across Shelby County; we engaged with small-business entrepreneurs and owners on ways they can overcome the obstacles they face and make the most of opportunities to grow. We joined with our friends at the 58 INC. to discuss challenges that affect our companies and communities, and we will keep working to ensure that Shelby County is the best area to reside throughout Alabama,” Grace said.

As we enter the 2022 program season, Brian Massey assumes the position of chamber chairman. Grace handed him the gavel before he took the reins.

“We’ve had the busy year 2022, and we have various things to do,” Massey said. “Several things I’m very excited about are supporting and promoting The World Games, growing the Women’s Business Council, looking for a different event than our golf tournament, and wrapping the last year of ShelbyOne, next Level Up with determination.”

The keynote speaker was Amiee Mellon, interim dean of the Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo. She outlined the tangible outcomes of the Business Outlook Survey 2022 of Shelby County.

A few of the statistics from the study included:

A strong feeling that full-time jobs will decline;

More than 56% of respondents believe that the negative impacts of COVID-19 last for 2 to 5 years later;

Over 93% of businesses have reported the impact of COVID-19.

> Labor shortage unemployment rate in U.S. 3.9% (6.3 million). The unemployment rate in Alabama is 3.1 percent (69,000). The unemployment rate in Shelby County is 1.8% (2,000).

A few statistics from The Shelby County outlook:

> Out of the 129 companies who participated in the survey, full-time employees ranged from 0-to 6,000.

> > Performance 84.5 All of us expect an improvement in our revenue (69 percent by 2021); 7.8% expect to see a decrease (23 percent by 2021);

• Employment increases: 53.5% expect an increase in full-time workers (34 percent for 2021); 9.31 expect a decline (12.5 percent by 2021);

The direction of economic growth: Shelby County: 82.2 percent of the population is moving towards the correct order (73 percent by 2021); 3.9% is headed in the wrong direction (2.73 percent for 2021). In the U.S. economy, 14.8 percent are headed in the correct order (29 percent for 2021); 60.2% are heading in the wrong direction (34 percent in 2021)

In a nutshell, Mellon said confidence in the Shelby County economy is at pre-pandemic levels. Full-time employees can tell the difference in the size of their organizations and expected results, supply chain concerns vary significantly, and the current trend is to place orders early and then look for alternatives. Employees prefer to focus on a specific area or two.

It will be a busy year in 2022, and lots of tasks to be done.


Also, at the event, Jim Purvis, president and CEO of A.C. Legg received the Alex Dudchock Community Leadership Award. The award aims to honor the most outstanding business or civic leader of Shelby County who demonstrates the principles by which Alex was a person throughout his professional career.

The first time the business was established was in Birmingham in 1923. It relocated into Shelby County on Sept. 10, 2001. The company recently celebrated its 20th anniversary within the county.

“The tradition of excellence that has been in place for 99 years continues to be evident today, as it’s an employee-owned company,” chamber CEO and president Kirk Mancer said. “Purvis has been the chief of staff since the transition into Shelby County, and his management is a testament to the importance of putting people first and putting service over self.”

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