Two entrepreneurs with a passion for giving back create a platform to help struggling businesses thrive
The Charm of Southeast Texas: A Small Business Haven
Southeast Texas is a region known for its distinct charm and the small businesses that form its backbone. From cozy cafes to boutique shops, these businesses add life and character to the community. However, running a small business is no easy feat, with many entrepreneurs facing an uphill battle towards success.
In a world where small businesses often struggle to compete with larger corporations, Elton Hollis and Joe Tant have emerged as the dynamic duo dedicated to leveling the playing field. Through their Chamber Up program, they offer a much-needed lifeline to small businesses by providing them with free promotion and valuable resources.
The Origins: From Casual Conversations to a Community Movement
The Chamber Up program has humble beginnings, originating from casual meetings between friends Fernando Ramirez and Joe Tant in 2019. They would visit local cafes and restaurants, inviting others to join them. As the group expanded, so too did the vision. Hollis and Tant quickly realized that small businesses, especially those with limited marketing budgets, were in dire need of support.
Driven by a desire to help their community, the pair decided to create a platform that would not only promote local businesses but also provide valuable advice to entrepreneurs. Thus, the Small Business Friday initiative was born.
Expanding the Platform: A Radio Show to Empower Entrepreneurs
Fast forward to today, and Small Business Friday has grown into a weekly radio program broadcast in both English and Spanish. This innovative show provides a platform for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses and share their stories, experiences, and advice with the community.
But Small Business Friday is more than just a radio show. It is a movement that seeks to empower local businesses by connecting them with resources and opportunities, ultimately helping them thrive in an increasingly competitive market.
Meet the Masterminds: Elton Hollis and Joe Tant
Elton Hollis is the brains behind the consulting service Hol-Tech Resources, and the General Manager of RT Technical Solutions. With 26 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Construction industry, Hollis lends his expertise in safety, training, and compliance to small businesses in need. He is well-regarded in the Safety and Training field for his Small Business training grant work in collaboration with Lamar Institute of Technology.
Hollis’ passion for nurturing small businesses extends beyond his day job. He co-founded the Golden Triangle Industrial Group and serves as Vice Chairperson for the Contractors Business Development Group, both of which are dedicated to promoting business growth by providing project information to local companies.
Joe Tant, the other half of the Chamber Up duo, is the Vice President of Finance, Administration, and Education at The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Director of The Port Arthur Education Foundation. A strong advocate for small businesses, Tant uses his voice to represent their interests across various platforms, including the Small Business Friday podcast, which he co-hosts with Hollis.
In addition to his executive roles, Tant sits on several boards, advocating for equitable access to capital, markets, and networks for all small businesses. He holds a Business Law and Human Resource Management Degree from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing from Baylor University.
The Chamber Up Philosophy: Selflessness at Its Core
At the heart of Chamber Up lies a philosophy of selflessness and giving back to the community. By partnering with local chambers of commerce, the program shines a spotlight on their members, regardless of size, and without charging them a dime.
This ethos of selflessness is beautifully summed up by Joe Tant: “Once upon a time, someone helped me, and I promised to always give back.”
Listeners of the Small Business Friday podcast can expect inspiring stories, insights, and practical advice from local entrepreneurs. The goal? To encourage people to support small businesses in their community, whether it’s through shopping locally or giving them a shout-out on social media. The Chamber Up program is a testament to the power of giving back and believing in the ripple effect of goodwill.
Fueling Economic Growth: Collaborations and Events
In addition to their podcast, Hollis and Tant have joined forces with Atmosphere, a marketing platform, to promote events that stimulate economic growth in Southeast Texas. These events provide networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.
Upcoming events include the Southeast Texas Industrial Contractors Golf Tournament, as well as partnerships with the Vidor and Sour Lake Chambers of Commerce. These events aim to bring together business owners, community leaders, and stakeholders to explore opportunities for growth and collaboration.
Get Involved: Support the Chamber Up Movement
To tune into the Small Business Friday podcast or to learn more about the Chamber Up program, check out the following links:
By supporting the Chamber Up movement, you can play a role in nurturing the small businesses that form the backbone of the Southeast Texas community. Whether it’s by tuning into the podcast, attending events, or shopping locally, every action counts in helping these businesses grow and prosper.
The Lasting Impact: A Future of Thriving Small Businesses
Elton Hollis and Joe Tant have created a remarkable platform with Chamber Up, proving that with a little help and a lot of heart, small businesses can reach their fullest potential. And in doing so, they have shown that the true currency of success is not just about profits, but the positive impact one can have on their community.
As Chamber Up continues to grow and evolve, there’s no doubt that it will leave a lasting impact on the small businesses it supports. This powerful initiative not only uplifts local entrepreneurs but also helps to create a more resilient and vibrant community for everyone.
In the words of Elton Hollis, “Buy into yourself first.” By investing time and energy into nurturing small businesses, Hollis and Tant are cultivating a brighter future for entrepreneurs in Southeast Texas and beyond.
The Chamber Up program is a shining example of how individuals can come together to create meaningful change. By supporting the small businesses that make our communities unique, we not only contribute to their success but also ensure the continued vitality of our local economies. So, let’s join forces with Elton Hollis, Joe Tant, and the Chamber Up movement to empower small businesses and build a future where they can flourish.