Happy New Year from the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce! We hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to kick off this new year right!

Here at the Crestview chamber, we have made a resolution to honor our mission statement, which reads:

We are the premier business advocate in the Crestview area community, providing membership services and proactive leadership to promote responsible economic development, business success, and a high quality of life.

Here's a quick look into some of the things we've been doing.

As always, we kicked off a new month with a networking breakfast at the Crestview Community Center. This month's breakfast was sponsored by Carr, Riggs & Ingram.

For years, Carr, Riggs & Ingram has served the businesses and individuals of Crestview with the small-town comfort you'd expect in a local office, but with the strength of a nationally recognized firm. CRI team members are also active and valued members of the community they serve, taking part in local organizations such as Rotary and the Crestview Chamber.

CRI provides tax planning, preparation, audit and bookkeeping services to an expanding client base throughout the community while guiding them through each tax season. With success in mind, they also provide insight into a wide variety of industries to better equip businesses for every phase of growth.

The 2017 tax season is here! CRI is always accepting new clients. Call 850-682-4357 to discuss your tax needs.

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If you're not a morning person and can't make the monthly breakfast meeting, you should try an After Hours. The After Hours is a monthly event where we invite all of our members and anyone interested in becoming a member to join us for networking, food and fun. The best part is… it's free!

This month's Business After Hours was hosted by Hot Head's Burritos. If you haven't tried them yet, we highly recommend them! They have all different kinds of burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and sauces to try. You can get them mild or super-hot, however you prefer. They also cater. Next time you're having a meeting or a party, give Hot Heads a call. It's located at 2220 Ferdon Blvd. S.

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We also had the opportunity to gather with all of the local chambers of commerce in the area to celebrate the grand opening of Kay's Cupboard. The Kay's Cupboard food pantry and donation center will help Children in Crisis better utilize food drives and other donations for the over 100 children who call the Children in Crisis Neighborhood home each year. Congratulations on your opening, and thank you for all you do to serve our community.

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Bring your business cards and your appetite to our next breakfast meeting, which will be on Feb. 1 and is sponsored by North Okaloosa Medical Center. The community center doors will open at 7 a.m. and the program starts at 7:30.

A $5 entry fee will get you a delicious breakfast from Uncle Bill's, networking opportunities with 150 other leaders in the community, and an update on what our local hospital is doing to better serve its patients. Wear red to celebrate Heart Health Month. We'll see you there!

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Last, but certainly not least, the chamber is proud to be planning our 14th Annual Triple B Festival!

Triple B will offer many exciting events, including arts and crafts vendors, entertainment, children's activities, community booths, and many other family-friendly attractions.

We expect vendors, BBQ competitors, and families from all over Northwest Florida to join us at Old Spanish Trail Park again this year.

Visit our website, our Facebook page, or call us at 682-3212 if you would like to be a part of this event in any way. Please consider joining us for any of our events or meetings throughout the month, or by becoming a member.

We would love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you might have about the great things we're doing. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you grow your business!

Christie Cadenhead is board chair of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce. Visit its website at www.CrestviewChamber.com.