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Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Board Minutes
255 South State Street, Unit B, Manhattan, IL 60442
May 14, 2019

Present: Donna Bateman, Mary Kay Cooper, Shari Fiocca,Joe Regan,Laura Umphrey and Administrative Assistant Peggy Kraatz

Absent: Kristy Byers, Tim McGrath and Kevin Sing. 

Shari called the meeting to order at 3:32 PM. Joe moved, and Laura seconded a motion to approve the secretary’s report. Motion carried. Donna gave the treasurer’s report with Joe moving to approve, and Laura seconding it. Motion carried. 

Banners: All of the new blue banners are now up thanks to the Village. They have also taken care of replacing missing brackets. The reddish banners that were only up for a few months before a terrible windstorm destroyed half of them have been removed. They were not made of double material. Only if a business really wants a banner in the middle of the two-year cycle, will it be brought up and decided at a meeting. There are a few spots available. Banners close to the road on a double pole are the ones affected by Irish Fest replacement banners and Christmas decorations.

Labor Day Fireworks: Thus far we have collected $1,301 for fireworks. Other promised donations are from First Bank of Manhattan and Dudak Masonry. There is about $1000 left over from last year. Ace’s round up for a week will help bring the Chamber’s portion down from the about $7,500 bill.

Labor Day Parade:The Army band will not perform since the parade is not televised.Super heroes are the theme.

Welcome Bags: Due to the merger of HomeStar and Midland States Bank, promotional material for HomeStar should be omitted from the bags by late summer. Joe Cerullo, Becky McGee and Kati Boswell will deliver seventeen May bags.

Membership: We now have 79 members with Kat’s Café, Eric Dudak Masonry and Murray Law being the newest

Scholarships: Shari will follow up with St. Joseph School principal and let her know the change in scholarship amount and thank her for picking a winner. Joe moved to give a $50 check per winner. Mary Kay seconded the motion. Motion carried.  The junior high will give out awards on May 21, and St. Joseph’s awards are on May 30.

Fundraiser for fireworks and scholarship: Joe knows a person who puts on Trivia nights for $150 fee. The Park District’s room would be large enough. Or it could be part of Kit’s Café or Roadhouse 52’s ribbon cutting. He is suggesting late July or August. A silent auction, gift baskets and 50/50 could be part of the night. Local member restaurants could cater. Joe will see when the person is available and about alcohol rules at the Hansen Center. Teams sign up for the event. Cell phone research on the answers is not allowed.

Friday Night Shopping Event: Since the carnival will not be in town in June but now in October, Joe moved and Laura seconded a motion not to do the Friday night before Manhattan on Tap event. The time before the event is now too limited to prepare.

Networking event: Joe reported that about 21 people are signed up to attend tomorrow’s lunch at the Village Hall. Pat Lucas will be the June sponsor and speaker. July is open for speaker and sponsor.

Christmas on State: We should focus on improving those events, which have done well. The Scavenger Hunt and the Parade will be publicized in the Park District’s next booklet.Adding a hashtag would increase publicity. A few locations such as Time Square, the Round Barn, the Historical Museum and maybe one other place to showcase our town would be the photo spots. One or two extra chance tickets would be given for those who post the hash tags. In some businesses, activities for children such as pin the nose on Rudolph go over well, in other the children just want to dash in and out. About 80 last year had a totally filled card.

A large mailbox for Letters to Santa was also considered. Encouraging a self-addressed stamped envelop be included with the letter would allow easy reply with a mail merge form letter.

Decorated trees along the Village’s Wabash parking lot was considered. A Friday shop until you drop event was not considered workable since we have limited retail stores. 

Awarding traveling trophies for the best parade float from a family and another from a business was received favorably. Each winner could embellish the trophy before it was passed on or a plaque with the winner’s name engraved could be displayed in the winning business for a year. The parade needs to be promoted as a business parade and possibly promoted in surrounding areas.  Local farmers need to be invited.

Businesses could compete in the best holiday display contest. The prize could be one year’s free membership in the chamber. Light up Manhattan for Christmas was suggested as the theme. Decorations must be up by Dec. 6. The public would vote via a poll. Home-based businesses can also be included.

The meeting was adjourned at 5 PM. 

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Kay Cooper, secretary

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