ROANOKE RAPIDS — The Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at its new location on the Avenue on Thursday.

The event brought guests to witness the ceremony as well as tour the chamber’s new office space and the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department’s Safety House.

Ginny Lewis, chamber CEO and president, said the organization is excited to be at its new location at 730 Roanoke Ave.

“The visibility is just great for us, so coming right out of the post office you’ll see the chamber of commerce,” Lewis said. “We’re going to be really easy to find. We just think it gives a great opportunity to be here on the Avenue working with our businesses.”

Before, the chamber was located at the Halifax County Visitors Center on Premier Boulevard until the organization decided to move and temporarily stay on the Avenue in The Gallery of the Halifax County Arts Council.

Chairman Taylor Hawkins, of the Chamber Board of Directors, said the chamber leaving the visitors center was a good financial decision. Hawkins said the chamber has had a lot of challenges, but now feels like everything is back to pick up the pace.

“We’ve got a lot of things going on and a lot of events coming up,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of new members. The chamber’s here for the community, and we want to do as much as we can for the businesses and also for the community. We’ve had a lot of things going on with COVID and things like that.

“We want to help the businesses, but we also want to be able to give back to the community and be a helping hand.”

The event was also an opportunity for RRFD to debut the Safety House at a public event, allowing guests to tour the mobile facility. The structure replaced a nearly 30-year-old one, and represents a house with a bedroom and a kitchen to educate children about fire safety. The house is equipped with technology to provide an environment that allows interactivity to capture several senses.

Fire Chief Jason Patrick thanked the chamber at the event for its help last year.

The Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce was part of an effort that raised more than $18,000 to purchase mattresses for RRFD and equipment on Sept. 15.

Patrick said the event was a great way to show thanks by bringing the mobile unit.

“I want to thank y’all for everything you’ve done for us,” he said. “If we can ever do anything, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.”

Commissioner Linda Brewer of Halifax County attended the ceremony, toured the chamber’s new space and the fire department’s mobile unit.

“I think they’ve got a great location, and the facility is beautiful,” Brewer said. “And they have enough room to conduct the business they’d like to conduct. The Smoke House is such an improvement over what has been used in the past. I am sure all the school children are going to be blown away with the technology.”

Lewis said there are four other office spaces in the building the organization is residing in, but secured the front space of the building for the chamber.

“We’ve got lots of space for us,” she said.

Lewis also mentioned the chamber has been growing and received seven new members in the last couple of months.

“The chamber is rebuilding now that things are opening back up,” she said. “The events can start back, that’s only going to help us to work with the community and let businesses know that we’re here to support them. We’re going to do everything we can to make events for the families and supporting the businesses.”

For more information, call the chamber at 252-519-2611.