Council pledges $30,000 for Chamber campaign
The Hendersonville City Council agreed on Thursday to pledge $10,000 a year for three years for a new Chamber of Commerce fundraising campaign intended to reduce the chamber's debt.
After an appeal by Chuck Edwards, the chairman-elect of the business organization, the council with no debate adopted a motion to grant the $30,000 request.
The chamber, which relies on business membership to fund its budget, has been hit by lower revenues while trying to pay the debt remaining from its renovation of a building and move to its new headquarters in 2008.
In its 2007 campaign for the new headquarters, the chamber raised $700,000. But it still has debt of about $780,000 and wants to reduce the amount of debt it must pay from regular operating revenue. The chamber set a goal of $200,000 and went to its membership first with the appeal.
"Some are able to, some have stepped up further, some cannot and unfortunately some no longer exist," Edwards said.
Councilman Ron Stephens said the chamber has been a strong force for business and was worthy of the city's support. Councilman Jerry Smith made the motion to grant the chamber's request.
Chamber president Bob Williford said it plans to appeal to other governments as well before it goes to a bank to refinance the debt.