Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
255 South State Street, Unit B
Manhattan, IL  60442
January 15, 2018 Board Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 5:35 p.m. by president Shari Fiocca.


Present were board members: Donna Bateman, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca, Brian Kannberg, Erin McDonough, Kevin Sing and Laura Umphrey
Administrative Exec:  Amanda Romadka 


Meeting minutes from December were reviewed. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Kevin and seconded by Erinwith the corrections of the month at the top and eliminate the “and” after Amanda. Motion carried. 


Financial Review: Mary Kay presented a review of the December income and expenses with Donna presenting January balance to date. Santa decided to pay for and keep his suit.The upcoming insurance bill will be discussed at the next meeting after getting a quote from HomeStar. Erin moved to accept the reports, and Brian seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Joining the US Chamber for $300 with access to their webinars and joining Chamber Masters will be considered at the next meeting when the yearly budget is discussed.


Membership:Currently we have 15 members who have renewed or whose membership expires mid year. Amanda will send out renewal notices this week. A discussion about which additional businesses to contact about joining listed those in Elwood and in the Cherry Hill Road complex as well as those along Cedar Road. Galleon Innovations, Signs of Life and Jumpy House are in those areas. A possible flyer of benefits was presented for review and will be discussed at the next meeting.
Erin moved, and Kevin seconded a motion to welcome Laura Umphrey of HomeStar Bank to the board. Motion carried.
Chamber Goals and Events: Other chambers host an expo. Our chamber has tried it several years in a row and finally discontinued the event due to low public participation. Local small businesses also had difficulty staffing both the expo and their normal business that day or were forced to pay time and a half to employees for the extra hours.

Chamber Goals and Events: Other chambers host an expo. Our chamber has tried it several years in a row and finally discontinued the event due to low public participation. Local small businesses also had difficulty staffing both the expo and their normal business that day or were forced to pay time and a half to employees for the extra hours.

To help our businesses, we may need to educate them to the importance of advertising on-line for today’s buyers as well as advertising what services and products they offer. We could host a more interactive profile of the business on our web site. A quarterly mailer of what chamber members’ offer could be sent out for $2,000 for 6,000 homes and split between four businesses. Showing businesses how to get people into their business during Cruise Nights, Irish Fest and other downtown events is another educational opportunity. Example: Ace selling hand warmers before the parade. Businesses having announcements made during the parade and handing out coupons as a parade participantwere all suggested.


For Irish Fest a “Find the Leprechaun” will be tried. Businesses and organizations can borrow a frame from the Village Hall.  Leprechauns must be displayed by March 1 and on private property, not on the easement. The best way to have them stand up is to fill a five-gallon bucket with rocks or sand with a broom or shovel handle in the middle. The 1 ½” pcv pipe of the leprechaun’s frame then slides over the handle.


Sponsorship opportunities need to be seen as a fiscal benefit and more than just a banner. The group agreed that the Labor Day bags were a good idea and well liked by the community.


Barbie Brewer Watson of the Kankakee area chamber is willing to share her expertise and come to our meeting according to Laura.
Highlighting a business weekly in Monday Memos was suggested. Amanda and Donna both noted that it was often difficult to get businesses to respond to information or items.

Highlighting a business weekly in Monday Memos was suggested. Amanda and Donna both noted that it was often difficult to get businesses to respond to information or items.

Business to business discounts were also mentioned. (Note: this has been tried in the past without much success.)


Welcome Bags:
Membership lists have been included in the latest Welcome Bags. There were 161 new residents from July-December. Donna has been delivering to the new December group as well as the five phone requests. The Village now has bags to give out to those who sign up for water at the Village Hall. So far only one bag has been given out that way.  A suggestion is that new home-based businesses include a business card in the bag. Ask members Roadhouse 52 and Subway for menus for the bag.


Lunch and Learns:
One topic might be a presentation by Com Ed concerning their Energy Efficiency Programs, which include free light bulbs, Nest thermostats and freezer removal.
Other topic suggestions were sexual harassment in the work place, Trump’s tax changes, employee handbooks, payroll partners, customer service, and marketing and advertising for small businesses.


Events:
Kankakee has a “Businesses on Broadway” event involving those on their main street. For us, the number of businesses on State is rather limited. Other ideas include a food and beverage crawl, a summer shop local using the Wabash parking lot or a second Saturday shop local designation. Friday night food trucks were suggested. Because of our size, we probably cannot get good vendors on Saturday and Sunday.


Citizen and Business of the Year:
In order to get a larger pool of nominations, Facebook and Manhappenin’s should be utilized. Survey money or Facebook survey could be used to select the winners. The business must be a chamber member.


On-Line Presence:
Since Instagram is the good to place for younger consumers, the chamber needs to increase its activity. The whole board needs to take photos to send to Amanda to post.
Erin will be added as another Facebook administrator and Kevin as an author.


State of the Village:
A determination of whether the chamber or the village will host the 2018 State of the Village daytime event will be decided at the next meeting.


Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
The next meeting will be January 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the chamber office.

Respectfully submitted,


Mary Kay Cooper, secretary

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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 357

Manhattan, IL 60442