Newberry hosted hurricane evacuees

Michelle Long - Contributing Columnist

Because of Hurricane Matthew, Newberry County became a welcome center to people who had to leave their homes throughout the coastal region.

We got to meet many of them, for they came to the Chamber and Visitors Center to learn more about our area and what they could do while on their emergency vacations. We were able to listen to their stories of home and the things they may face upon their return.

We consider the stories people share with us a gift.

If only for part of their extended weekend, we were able to keep them company and share our love for our area and introduce them to new things.

Some of the visitors had been here before, but many were new to our community and did not know where to start.

We were able to hear their complimentary words about the architecture, the nice people they encountered, and the unexpected charm they experienced while here.

The Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, and Newberry Manor were excellent hosts for many of the guests who also shopped locally and dined in our area restaurants.

It never gets old hearing about the great accommodations and excellent customer service people receive when they visit our venues.

Because we are both a Chamber of Commerce and a Visitors Center, we get to assist both visitors and businesses find resources they need.

We get to introduce our history and charm to new residents and visitors, and for businesses, we have been able to be liaisons between them and school resources, link business needs and available workshops, and link non-profit groups with similar goals.

We greet over 3,000 visitors each year, answer over 1,000 phone calls in the same amount of time, and that’s not counting the emails and letters to which we respond.

If you ever have a need with which we might can help, contact us. You can reach us at 803-276-4274,, or in person at 1209 Caldwell Street in downtown Newberry.

We would welcome you and assist in any way we can as we continue to build business and connect community.

Michelle Long

Contributing Columnist

Michelle Long is executive director of the Newberry Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at

Michelle Long is executive director of the Newberry Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at