At meetings in June and July, directors for the Monett Chamber of Commerce have planned and reviewed summer projects and made preparations for end-of-summer activities.
Last week, a meeting was held of retail business operators to discuss marketing plans. Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry said an effort is being made to organize merchants into a Retail Committee, similar to how manufacturing leaders meet regularly as members of the Industry Council.
Any retail merchant interested in participating on the council is welcome, McElmurry said.
Discussion focused on the Sales Tax Holiday on Aug. 7 and 8. Monett will be the only area town participating in dropping its sales tax for the event. McElmurry said all Monett retailers are encouraged to join in the sidewalk sale being held that weekend.
The next major chamber-sponsored event will be the welcoming luncheon for the 20 new teachers joining the Monett R-1 School District this fall. The school is handling the planned tour of the town. The chamber will host a luncheon at its office.
Sponsors for the luncheon are still welcomed. Mike Garrett is chairman for the event. The chamber traditionally provides the new teachers with a "goodies bag" of gifts and services. Industrial leaders will be present at the luncheon to talk about the role their companies play in Monett's economic picture.
For the first time, the chamber plans to have a fall session of its Leadership Monett program. McElmurry said timing of the spring sessions kept the group from participating in some activities. Instead of waiting until next year to make the change, a second session will be held this year, starting with a retreat on Sept. 17 and 18.
Participation in Leadership Monett is limited to 10 to 15 people. McElmurry said around five people have already committed, having been on a waiting list from last spring. Others interested can contact McElmurry at the chamber office.
In other summer activities, board members in June heard a report on the Industrial Appreciation Golf Course. McElmurry said the tournament had generated a lot of positive feedback, had several holes with more than one sponsor and for the first time had two holes-in-one.
David Young provided a positive report on the annual Junior Livestock Show. This is the second year the event was held at Danny and Julie Vaughn's arena.
The Fourth of July celebration had gone well, according to chairman Jim Haston. The deposit on next year's fireworks has been made. McElmurry anticipated that even with some of the pledges still outstanding, this year's event should break even as planned.
The chamber's spring membership drive closed with success, reported Regina Bowsher, membership chairman. Past members appear to be renewing in numbers comparable to past years or better, McElmurry said, and new members joining this year have been ahead of last year.
D.C. Wright has left as manager of the Monett License Office to take a position in Oregon. Wright had worked full-time at the office since August 2003. Jamie Stephens, who has been at the office for more than a year, was named to succeed Wright.
Business at the license office has continued "about average," McElmurry said. There were 2,526 June transactions, compared to 2,430 a year ago, an upward trend that has continued for several years.
More license office customers seem to be waiting until the end of the month to conduct their business, McElmurry said. Revenues appear to be steady, she added.
Also attending the July meeting was City Administrator Dennis Pyle. Discussing the visioning project with the Drury University architecture students, Pyle said he planned to use the book prepared for the Drury project in reapplying for the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.
The next chamber board meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 at the chamber office located at 200 E. Broadway.