The 2023 season for the Monroe City Chamber of Commerce kicked off with their first meeting on Jan. 12 at 8 a.m. in the City Hall Chambers.
Brittnee Cannady, Matthew Perrine, and Beth Dowell took their new seats at the table for this meeting, with Mandy Shortridge returning to her place as treasurer.
Cannady is the newly elected Chamber President, and Perrine sits as the appointed Vice President, Dowell will be Secretary for this term.
Jaycee Neice, former Chamber President, remains an active board member, along with Brad Thurman, and Loree Quinn. Both Thurman and Neice were in attendance for this month’s meeting.
Cannady began the meeting right at 8 a.m. with a call to order and an approval of the minutes from the Dec. meeting.
A budget meeting was held for the active board members and officers on Jan. 11. Cannady began the meeting with discussion about the budget. Neice made a motion to approve the budget for 2023, and Cannady approved.
Perrine took the floor with the first official order of business to discuss the new Christmas bows. Some of the bows have been destroyed or fallen off the garland in previous years.
The Applebee Tree owner has dedicated his time to ensuring that new bows be placed on all the garlands.
Neice suggested that The Monroe City Garden Club be asked to make the bows. The Garden Club is an active and participating member of the Chamber.
Perrine also suggested not doing bows at all and making finding a different décor piece that will be sturdier, while this was not an official motion, it remains in discussion.
Debbie Kendrick, a representative for the DTMC Organization, asked if The Chamber would be interested in splitting a page in the Mark Twain Visitor’s Guide with DTMC. The two organizations would be sharing the cost of a full-page ad and receive an article in the guide as well. A motion for approval was not made.
A design for the new billboard going alongside Highway 36 was presented, the same design will be used for the advertisement in the visitor’s guide.
It was suggested that only tourist businesses be advertised in the design. However, that was not approved, and a link to the Chamber website will be advertised instead, where all participating Chamber businesses are currently advertised. The website also has a map that displays where each business in located in Monroe City, as well as links to the Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.
As part of the membership drive, an anonymous member survey will be distributed to help grow the Chamber. A rough draft of the survey was distributed to present members at the meeting, to gauge what questions will need to be asked on the official survey.
The survey asks how the Chamber can better benefit members, and how they can be more appealing to non-members.
Cannady has been working closely with Allie Bennet, the President of the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce to make improvements, and the survey was a suggestion made by Bennet.
A focus for Cannady is doing more for all businesses in Monroe City, not just the downtown businesses.
Cannady proposed doing business grants, funded by the annual golf tournament. Like the DTMC grant, businesses would be eligible to apply for the grant and apply the money towards growth opportunities.
Shawn Terrill received a similar grant from the Palmyra Chamber and was able to apply the money towards advertising costs.
Fall Festival was briefly discussed, and Cannady asked for more volunteers. DTMC suggested that they oversee getting vendors for the event. Cost distribution for Fall Festival was discussed, but no decision was made.
“We are MC. We’re not two different worlds, we should help each other,” Kendrick said.
The Chamber welcomes help from DTMC, and the collaboration is expected to proceed.
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