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Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Rose prepares to introduce a guest speaker at a 2019 Chamber Luncheon. The monthly event was last held in February, but marks its return on Nov. 16.

On Feb. 20, Jackson Field Behavioral Health Services was featured during the monthly Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Before the March event happened, COVID-19 swept through Virginia, beginning a lockdown of businesses, schools, and community gatherings.

Last month Nancy Rose, EGCC executive director, reached out to members inquiring about resuming the monthly activity. The response was positive. On Monday, Nov. 16, the EGCC monthly luncheon for its members’ returns, ending a nine-month absence of the event.

“We appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support we have received for resuming our Chamber Monthly Luncheons,” Rose said. “We also appreciate and understand the responses from those of you who are not able to participate at this time.”

The Nov. 16 EGCC luncheon location is Emmanuel Worship Center, 4910 E. Atlantic St., Emporia. Previous luncheons were at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center. Though the Nov. 16 luncheon is not at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, the hospital will be front and center.

John Emery, president of Bon Secours Southside Medical Center and Southern Virginia Medical Center, is the scheduled guest speaker.

The luncheon format has not changed. The EGCC invites guest speakers of interest to discuss their businesses or organizations’ upcoming community events. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. Chamber member businesses are offered the opportunity to share what their companies or organizations are doing or forthcoming events. A noon lunch follows. The guest speaker begins their presentation shortly after lunch is served.

The Chamber Monthly Luncheon returns, but there are a few minor changes due to the ongoing pandemic.

“The luncheon is $10 payable by cash or check made out to Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce or EGCC,” Rose said. “We are happy to invoice your business or you may stop by the chamber to purchase a ticket in advance. Given the current COVID-19 regulations, we will not be handling money at the door as we have done in the past.”

The pandemic has not gone away, but the return of another event could be a sign Emporia-Greensville is one step closer to a return to normal.