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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Meeting Minutes

255 South State Street, Unit B, Manhattan, IL 60442

March 11, 2020


Present: Donna Bateman, Kristy Byers, Joe Cerullo, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca, and Temporary Administrative Assistant Shelly Lewis.

Absent: Becky Bouck, Tim McGrath and Kevin Sing


Shari called the meeting to order at 3:35 pm. Kristy moved and Joe seconded a motion to approve the February minutes. Motion carried. Donna’s treasurer’s report showed a February checking account balance of $ 19,193.05. Mary Kay moved and Kristy seconded a motion to approve the report. Motion carried.


Membership: To date we have 70 members who have paid their dues. Kim O’Neil with Aflac and Hello Neighbor from New Lenox just jointed. Hello Neighbor puts together Welcome type bags for surrounding communities with only one business from each business type allowed in the bag. Business, who put promotions into the bag, pay for the service. Shelly and Ambassador Kathy Bothwell are asked to call non-renewing members for feedback.


Spotlight: This feature to the Constant Contact messaging needs to be brought back. First new members will be contacted for information and then the rest of the membership starting alphabetically. While we don’t have a list of questions, looking at previous spotlights may help. Information might include the history of the business, when they started in Manhattan, what is their specialty or why they are unique.


Welcome Bags: Shelly has a good supply of items and will remove promotions from non-members. Thanks to Amelia Berg and Joe Cerullo for delivering the March bags.


Booklet of Member: A nicer list or booklet format of members should be included in the Welcome Bags with businesses listed by type. Shari will see about printing cost. A business card size, a quarter page or a half page would vary in price to the business. Line item with just name and phone number would be free. This booklet could also be passed out at Irish Fest, Trivia Night and Ladies Night Out. A letter needs to be sent out to see the interest.


Networking: Thus far the reservations are few for the March 18 luncheon. Gallaghers, as a new member, will cater the event usually as a box lunch. Dr. Tingley will speak. One future gathering could include a doctor to speak about the Coronavirus.


Discussion centered on having a breakfast or evening networking event. The weekday evening would not include a presentation. Using the Wine Bar was suggested. The chamber would provide appetizers. Donna will see if there is interest in this type of event at the March luncheon. Kristy will contact the Wine Bar to see if they are interested.


Irish Fest: There were 50 entries for the March 7 parade. The chamber should be represented next year.


Softball game Concessions: The Park District will review the idea once we have a plan. Mary Kay will send a letter to all Manhattan restaurants. One restaurant commented to Kevin S. that it would be non profitable for his business due to the need of hiring more staff. For Joey’s food truck, he needs a guarantee of $1,000 to $1,500 in sales per event. Sales plus sponsor contribution then equals the guaranteed amount.


Ladies Night Out: Auntie Ann’s Food Truck and the Creamery’s truck were considered. The event is planned for Sept. 2.


Trivia Night: Joe would like to make progress on the event. Shari will contact her trivia person. Kristy noted that St. Joseph’s Trivia Night gives out a prize for the best-decorated table and another cash prize for the winner. They charge $100 for a table of 6-8 players. Each table brings its own snacks, but can purchase alcohol. Decide if the event will be costumes or no costumes.


Pub Crawl: No new information since Kevin was not in attendance.


Scholarships: St. Joseph and Manhattan Junior High have been contacted and are aware that there will be no scholarship this year. The deadline for the high school submissions has not yet been reached.


Fireworks: Kristy messaged Kevin Molloy while at the meeting. He will bring the check for fireworks that he raised to the next networking event. The Park District gave their approval to several possible dates. Having fireworks at the first Sip of Summer Concert on June 10 was the best option because Lincoln-Way Special Rec was doing a family event first. Therefore, a crowd would be present. Having the end concert event on August 5 as a rain date might also work. Donna will see if the fireworks company is available those nights.


We would need to ask Ace to do their round up starting in April or May.


Accounting: Mary Kay will contact Bruns and Bruns to see if our files are ready. She will also ask if we need to provide IRS forms and report winnings from Trivia Night.


Administrative Assistant: Donna and Shari will start the interviews on Fri. March 13 if candidates are available.


Meeting dates: At the next meeting we will discuss alternating Tuesday and Wednesday meeting dates.


The meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm. The next meeting is April 15 at 3:30 pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Mary Kay Cooper, secretary

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