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Nanuet Chamber: Membership Benefits, Bardonia?

The next meeting is May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Nanuet Library. The by-laws and mission statement will be discussed at that meeting among other topics. The chamber is looking for volunteers for its booth at the Nanuet Family Fest on June 2

 

Earlier today, this Patch article recapped the discussions on by-laws from last night's Nanuet Chamber of Commerce meeting. In this article, Patch will look at the discussions on including Bardonia, membership benefits and residents.

There’s been three meetings to discuss forming the Nanuet Chamber of Commerce. After the , the group decided that there was indeed an interest in restarting the chamber that was disbanded years ago. The  ended with the realization that committees and research was needed.

However, despite good turnout numbers for the first two meetings, the third one, which was last night, only had about 20 people.

Last night’s meeting focused on committees. There are 11 committees right now, but since the chamber is still in its infancy, there may be new committees formed or the existing ones may change or combine:

  • Bylaws
  • Events
  • Long Range Planning
  • Main Street Committee
  • Membership
  • Nominating
  • Outreach
  • Restaurant
  • Retail
  • Student Action Committee
  • Website/Marketing

Those that attended decided that there should be an informational and recruiting booth at the upcoming Nanuet Family Fest (11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on June 2 at the Nanuet Outdoor Education Center, formerly St. Agatha). However, volunteers are needed to man the booth, even if it’s just for an hour or so.

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Bardonia?

One question raised after the second chamber meeting was Bardonia—should the Nanuet Chamber of Commerce include Bardonia since it’s in the same zip code and fire district? If Bardonia is not included, where does the chamber draw the line?

Here are some of the responses when the floor was opened up for discussion:

“The reason why you draw alliances is because it comes down to how money is spent,” said Yeboah. “I think we should contact the New City Chamber of Commerce to see if Bardonia is part of their chamber.”

“I don’t see why we should lock people out,” said Nanuet Resident Jim Flynn.

“I feel we should not exclude Bardonia, but the emphasis should be on Nanuet,” said Roy Giampicolo,  and a Nanuet Rotarian.

Some brought up the issue of the chamber’s name—If Bardonia is included, should it then be called the Nanuet/Bardonia Chamber of Commerce or a name based off of the shared zip code? Should the name be similar to the Greater Haverstraw Chamber of Commerce, which expanded its name to include the North Rockland area?

In the end, most voiced that Bardonia should be included because the more the merrier and that the chamber should not exclude them if they offer to bring something to the table.

It was decided, that since the by-laws should have diction clarifying this, the by-laws committee should reach out to the New City Chamber to find out if Bardonia participates in their group the by-laws committee should make a decision and bring their recommendation to the group to decide.

Membership

The membership committee will decide the membership dues and possibly different due levels as well as what benefits members will gain from joining the chamber.

Parts of the discussion included having a founding member level, in which a business could pay a large sum of money to become a founding member. That money would be used as seed money and raise initial funds for the chamber. In exchange, that founding member would gain a significant benefit, such as waived dues for a certain number of years or a prominent advertisement on the chamber’s website.

The group last night also discussed different dues levels, such as business versus residents. Some individuals also mentioned after the meeting that there can be discounted student and senior dues.

“Don’t place the bar (due level) too high at the beginning,” said Greg Rogers.

“You don’t want it to be too high, but you do need the money,” said Risa Hoag of Nanuet and GMG Public Relations. “Even if you just look at the costs for the bare minimum (to start up the chamber), like the website and filing (for the chamber to become a corporation and then a non-profit).”

Yeboah estimated the cost to become a corporation at $500 and just the filing to become a 501c3 at $900.

“We should get in contact with Simon (Property),” said Janet Levitt, financial advisor of New England Financial. “It would be in their best interest to get involved.”

Residents

One person asked why should residents join.

The Pearl River Chamber of Commerce recently has started efforts in involving its community residents because the decisions the chamber makes to the economic environment of Pearl River’s businesses will ultimately affect residents as well, according to Kevin Hardy, Pearl River Chamber president, at the second Nanuet Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“The beautification of Nanuet affects our home value and we should make it look good for our families and kids,” said Jim Fay.

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