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“Chats with the Chamber Lady” podcast gives Holmes businesses new platform for exposure

Holmes County Chamber of Commerce members have a new benefit and way to reach an audience on social media by being featured on the new podcast “Chats with the Chamber Lady.”

The podcast is hosted by the Chamber Lady herself, Donna Meldon, after Charlie Dykes of Southern Lights podcast offered up the idea to spotlight Chamber members in a podcast segment.

“We researched it and found out nobody in the panhandle of Florida does this,” said Meldon, the Chamber coordinator.

Other Chambers around the country offer podcasts as a way to highlight local businesses. The Holmes County Chamber is the first to bring this platform to local businesses in the region.

The first segment of “Chats with the Chamber Lady” was recorded with Chamber President Lesley Hatfield. Hatfield gave a background of the Chamber and how she became involved. The first segment of a local business was finally recorded Friday.

“It’s free advertising. It’ll be something they can share,” Dykes said. “The thing about a podcast is you can do it with your phone, but here it’s a production.”

The Chamber has a room permanently set up for podcast recordings. So far, the interest in getting involved has been overwhelming. The Chamber will record a couple times a month for now and may adjust with demand by members.

“It can be frightening to sit here and just talk comfortably,” Meldon said.

Business owners who participate in the podcast will be able to ponder the content of the conversation before recording.

Another new member benefit is that the Chamber will also highlight businesses on location and feature them on Facebook.

Karl Forster, owner of Wood-N-Key locksmith business, was the first member to record a segment Friday.

“I have a new business. I opened in July of this year,” Forster said.

Forster said he and his wife relocated to Holmes County recently to be near family. He had worked previously as a locksmith and started Wood-N-Key positioning himself as “Your Tri-County Locksmith” serving Holmes, Washington and Walton Counties.

‘This is my first time on my own. This is an underserved area, and I thought I could kind of help out with something,” Forster said.

The wood part of the business is something Forster hopes to grow into as he dabbles in furniture repair. He started in woodworking making 18th century reenactment furniture and plans to sell pieces if there is a demand.

“In joining the Chamber, I just wanted to be involved in the community,” Forster said.

The Chamber currently has over 70 members. They hope the “Chats with the Chamber Lady” podcast will be a new way local business owners utilize to reach their audience.

“This is just another benefit the Chamber can offer businesses,” Meldon said.

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