Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Board Minutes
255 South State Street, Unit B, Manhattan, IL 60442
January 8, 2019

Present: Donna Bateman, Kristy Byers, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca, Timothy McGrath Kevin Sing, Joe Regan, Laura Umphrey and Administrative Assistant Peggy Kraatz

Shari called the meeting to order at 3:35 pm. The secretary’s report was corrected to show that the Park District would need to be notified in advance if we will be using their property. HomeStar did not sell gingerbread houses at $5, but that was the lowest price found. Also page two; line four, limed needs to be changed to limited. Kevin moved and Joe seconded a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. Motion carried.

Donna presented the treasurer’s report. It was agreed to stay with Bruns and Bruns to do the Chamber’s federal and state reports and freelancer form. They would receive free membership in return. Mary Kay moved and Joe seconded a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. Motion carried.

Peggy will be in charge of Constant Contact starting February 1.

Rather than a group photo, each board member is asked to send a head shot and a short bio to Peggy for posting.

Welcome Bags: Kristy and Donna are willing to deliver the bags. Donna expressed need for mileage payment. According to the By-Laws, the board must approve the amount and the specific duties for which board members get paid. Students working at the Village Hall will fill the bags. Two hundred items should be dropped off at the Village Hall. Items should be usable for all of 2019 and include no limited time coupons. Previously members volunteered a month at a time to deliver the bags. Members should be asked if they would like to volunteer for a specific month.

Phone: While the current phone is less than half of what AT&T was charging, it is in a person’s name. Virtual voice mail, pre-paid cellular and Freedom Voice were considered as possible options. However, more information and cost is needed.

Community Calendar: The calendar is a joint endeavor with the Park District, public schools, library, and village. Entertainment events and noteworthy community events are to be listed. No meetings or classes will be included. Peggy will attend the setup meetings.

Home Pages: A revised list has been submitted to Home Pages phone book for the listing of Chamber members.

Meeting Dates: The group agreed to keep it for the second Tuesday of the month starting at 3:30 pm in the Chamber Office.

Plaque Stickers for 2019: The original company, which provided raised gold date on a clear background now only has black background with gold letters, which did not look good. We have too many plaques on hand to abandon that style. Other companies’ stickers are too long for the space on the plaque. Kevin moved and Joe seconded a motion to give Shari permission to get 100 clear backgrounds with not raised gold date stickers.

Fee Restructuring: After much discussion the following membership fees for 2019 were decided.


                         Number of Employees     1-2     3-14     15+     Non-profit   Political/Governmental

                                                               $125    $175    $250       $100                $200
Number of employees is based on full time equivalent in the Manhattan market area. Mary Kay noted that it would be difficult for the Historical Society to swallow that much of an increase. Unfortunately, the smaller local groups such as the American Legion are in the same non-profit category as Silver Cross Hospital and Riverside Medical. Those groups who have already paid their 2019 membership fee will be grandfathered in at the 2018 rate. All memberships start in January. A reduced fee can be given those who join in July or after. Applications are due back by Feb. 28, 2019. Kevin moved and Laura seconded the motion to approve the new structure. Motion carried. A referral program was suggested, but it was considered too complex to track.

Street Banners are ready to be hung, but missed the day when the Christmas decorations came down. Peggy will give a list to the Village as to where each banner should be hung. Consideration will be given to requests and then to not hanging competing businesses near each other.

Networking Events: Joe will provide a calendar of upcoming networking lunches. Most will be the third Wednesday of the month at 11:30 AM. Members will be free and non-members will be charged $10. Some Chambers charge $50 to speak at one of their events.

Membership: Peggy will email all current members with the new membership application and the Networking Event flyer. She will also snail mail anyone else on the Village’s business list as well as Elwood’s business list. 

Kickoff: Will be moved to March this year.

Fireworks: Use GoFundMe again only earlier as well as Ace donations sooner. Possibly have a Trivia Night Fundraiser for fireworks or scholarships. Suggested month was early August. Joe has a contact that does Trivial Nights.

Labor Day Parade: Have a contest between subdivisions for the best entry. One problem is that neighbors do not talk to neighbors.

Insurance: It was thought to go back to the insurance policies that the board carried a few years ago for Board liability. Previously auto and treasurer’s insurance was also carried.


The meeting adjourned at 5:45 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Mary Kay Cooper, secretary

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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 357

Manhattan, IL 60442