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Monett Chamber of Commerce focuses on fall events

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Monett Chamber of Commerce bBard focused on a number of fall activities during its August meeting.

President Lori Negre told board members about a survey the Chamber developed about its July 4th celebration. The survey is being mailed out with city utility bills in September. The purpose, Negre said, is to get broader feedback about the event both from those who attended and perhaps a why from those who did not.

The survey asks about the activities in which people participated, where people sat during the fireworks and whether the city's celebration should be moved to a weekend event. Copies of completed surveys should be taken to drop boxes located at both City Hall and the Chamber office at 200 E. Broadway.

The chamber has the least number of activities booked in autumn of any season, but more are planned this year. In moving the Leadership Monett program to a fall schedule, the second session of the year is getting ready to begin.

The kick-off is planned as an opening retreat, which will be held at the Roaring River State Park Inn and Conference Center near Cassville on Sept. 17 and 18. The program's alumni will prepare the Thursday evening cookout. Alumni members are also planning to serve as mentors in helping new members develop skills.

Executive Director Suzy McElmurry reported that several actions designed around the Chamber's mission statement have taken shape. As part of an overall community effort, the chamber awarded two sponsorships to the Tri-State Water Coalition, for a total of $1,500. Working with radio station KRMO and chambers of commerce in Cassville and Aurora, the Chamber is participating in a "shop local" campaign.

Ads were run on Monett's participation in the recent state sales tax holiday in the Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Cassville and Monett newspapers. Merchants reported more traffic than usual on the Saturday of the sale, showing positive signs the promotion was effective.

Coming up will be an open house at Horner's Body Shop on Sept. 14. It was reported the chamber member has remodeled, put in a line of environment-friendly paint and will be offering tours. Following a ribbon cutting at 11:45 a.m., lunch will be offered to the public.

Monett's Industry Council, McElmurry reported, had heard a presentation on Aug. 3 by Mary Love, with Government Bidding Facilities. Love handed out packets on the types of bids recently given out in the area. A wide range of products, from office supplies and building materials, as well as services, are being marketed in bid packages.

McElmurry discussed how the marketing approach represented another customer base for Monett businesses. A number of projects had an extended life, more than a one-time sale. McElmurry said in the current phase of the economy, the strategy offered benefits to business.

Looking ahead to year-end activities, Cindy Stephens reported the Festival of Flavors has been scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 12. The location has also been moved from the Southwest Area Career Center to the St. Lawrence Catholic Church parish hall.

In addition to the hall's gymnasium, Stephens explained there are a number of adjacent rooms for handling an overflow crowd. The hall also has a stage. Plans are being made to have live musical entertainment for the occasion.

Efforts in finalizing the chamber's proposal for continuing to operate the license office, which had been up for bid by the Missouri Department of Revenue, were reviewed by Mike Garrett. To get the last minute request for background checks in by the requested deadline, Garrett made a one-day run back and forth to Jefferson City. In the end the chamber's bid was approved.

Activity at the license office has been running slightly ahead of last year, McElmurry reported. June numbers showed more than 2,600 transactions. Of those, McElmurry said more than 600 were just for drivers' licenses. Since local testing has been offered every Wednesday in Monett, there has been an increase in licenses issued here.

New members that recently joined the Chamber include HR Professional Solutions, Certified Automotive Services and Trademark Advertising.

The next chamber board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 at the chamber office.

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