The Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce is at a crossroads.
One path moves forward. The other does not.
Chambers members have been informed the only item up for discussion at the upcoming Nov. 14 meeting will be the chamber’s future. Membership numbers have been strong in recent years, past-president Frank Likely says, but unless the executive can find some new blood from within that membership to take on active roles within the chamber, it could mark the beginning of the end of the chamber.
“For a small area we do have a good number of members. We would always welcome more, but they would have to be active members,” Likely said. “We simply can’t do it without new blood.”
Like many groups and organizations, the chamber has come to a point were only a select few continue to be active members, taking on different executive roles each year. While the dedication is admirable, it is not without volunteer burnout and the passage of time. Seeing no break in the cycle, the chamber is hoping by addressing the issue directly they will be able to make a decision.
“At this meeting two options will be consider, dissolution of the chamber or amalgamation with another chamber,” Likely said. “A third option of continuing the chamber can only realistically considered if there is an immediate and substantial increase in participation by chamber members.”
The choice, Likely said, is in the membership’s hands.
The chamber has had a distinguished history in the community and at one time could be counted on the champion local business, lively debate during elections and promotion of the community. Over time, however, the chamber’s role and participation dwindled.
During its last meeting, only five members attended. Three were retirees.
This make-or-break meeting of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce will take place upstairs of Sociables Pub and Eatery in Artie’s Attic, named after the late Art Saffron whose family once operated a community furniture business from the same building. Saffron was a champion for his community, its people and dedicated member of the chamber.
Likely says it’s only fitting the chamber hold this crucial meeting there.
“I’m sure Artie will be looking on us, wondering what we are going to do with his chamber.”