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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Meeting Minutes

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting was held as a Zoom conference call.

December 8, 2020


Present: Donna Bateman, Becky Bouck, Kristy Byers, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca and Kevin Sing along with Administrative Assistant Mandie Wade. Also new board members Brittany Rojek and Kevin Molloy

Absent: Joe Cerullo and Tim McGrath


Shari called the meeting to order at 3:36 pm. Kristy moved and Kevin S. seconded a motion to accept the November secretary’s report. Motion carried. Donna paid the phone bill and Mandie’s November salary. The Wine Bar paid their membership. The checking account balance was $11,5390 with a total for all accounts of $27,152.37. Kevin S. moved and Kristy seconded a motion to accept the report. Motion carried. Mary Kay mentioned that the phone plan is in her name and should now be changed. Consumer Cellular, at least when the account was started, needed a person’s name and not a business on the account. Mandie will look into other phone services.


Administrative Assistant Report: Mandie has updated the 2021 membership application form. She will finish up with Welcome Bags next week. No November bags went out. She will reach out to those who volunteered to deliver. Usually about 20 bags per month go out, but in Nov. and Dec. it was seven to eight. Mary Kay noted that a box of Home Page phone books were at the office and could be used in the bags.


Membership: The group suggested that renewal information be sent in a separate email not connected to other topics. A list of benefits should be a part of the

e-mailing. There are 125 businesses in town. We need to connect with them no matter if they are brick and mortar or home based or crafters. Brittany suggested a tiered membership based on the amount of services wanted. This will need to be discussed next year since this year’s membership applications have already been approved and have started coming in.


Publicity: Brittany suggested that something similar to the D114 Foundation calendar could be done, which has a few lines of advertising for a reduced fee. A Social Media package should be put on next year’s agenda as well as better use of Facebook live. Distribution of a business directory of members only was suggested.


Marketing Specialists: Kevin M. contacted two ladies, Kathy and Kristin, who are willing to be the Chamber’s promoters. They could be offered free membership. Live videos from members would generate interest in the businesses.  They could assist with getting Membership Spotlight information. The board will need to set parameters of what is wanted and what is not wanted. Sharing members’ Facebook posts was also important to help the community grow with publicity. Encouraging people to like the member businesses pages is also important. Current topics such as Manhattan Family Chiropractic’s coat drive and St. Joseph’s fundraisers were events that the chamber should help publicizing. However, if the business does not notify the Chamber, the often Mandie does not know about it in order to include it in our Constant Contacts, Facebook page and website.


Board Facebook Group: Mandie will set up a private group so that events and items that the board sees can go into this group and then spread from there.


Letters to Santa: Thus far 26 letters have been collected from the mailbox by the Time Square Christmas tree.  The deadline is Dec. 11. A hut with a writing desk and an actual mailbox were suggested for next year.


Holiday idea: Mary Kay saw a movie in which the town had a large magnetic board with numbered squares. Next to it was a bin with a puzzle picture on one side and numbers on the other. Community members would match a piece from the bin to the board’s numbers to help complete the puzzle of a Christmas scene.


Officers/Committees: The selection of officers was moved to January at which time they immediately take office according to the By-Laws. The secretary could be the person to make sure minutes and financial reports get filed in the binder of past minutes. New nametags could be ordered with no office connected to them.


Committees could include Labor Day Parade, Ladies Night Out, Christmas on State and scholarship. Possibly hire a party planner to take charge of each event was suggested.


Meeting dates: It was agreed that the second Tuesday of the month at 3:30 pm would be the meeting date and time.


Members were encouraged to check the Geneva, IL and Frankfort, IL Chamber Facebook pages for ideas and how active they are.


Meeting was adjourned at 4:47 pm.


The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 12 at 3:30 pm at the Village Hall.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Kay Cooper

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