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Sat, Sept. 21

Camp Verde Business Alliance considers becoming new Chamber

Camp Verde Business Alliance President B. J. Davis, left, talks with Tim Remick of Remick West-Watt PLC, with offices in Camp Verde and Tucson. VVN/Bill Helm

Camp Verde Business Alliance President B. J. Davis, left, talks with Tim Remick of Remick West-Watt PLC, with offices in Camp Verde and Tucson. VVN/Bill Helm

CAMP VERDE – Late last year, the Camp Verde Business Alliance acquired ownership of the name Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, the alliance’s president opened dialog to “find out if the partners are supportive of the new name.”

When Davis said “supportive,” he didn’t mean just by verbal consent.

Which is why the alliance will spend the next year “working in the background to create the Chamber.”

“We have an opportunity to create a new Chamber of Commerce, which I believe could benefit the town,” Davis said. “Are you interested in allowing us to become a true Chamber?”

Part of becoming a true Chamber, Davis said, could be running the town’s signature events, such as the Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival, Cornfest and Fort Verde Days.

“It’s a slow process,” he said. “My guess is we’re talking five years before we’d be a full chamber. I could see us running the major events in town. But not yet.”

A chamber, Davis said, is a “voice to local government.”

“I think we could create something vibrant,” he said.

But it would require more of an investment from partners, Davis said.

“Your fees are $50 a year. That’s low,” he said. “We’d need [more] board members. We’d need money. And we’d need a full-time employee.”

Short three board members, the alliance decided to consider two options for filling its board in February. Either hold “true elections” or “let the four board members continue through the rest of the year.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

Benefits of becoming a Chamber of Commerce

In exploring if we should modify the Camp Verde Business Alliance into a true Chamber of Commerce for Camp Verde, the following are some of the things a Chamber might be able to take on and do more effectively than a loose organization such as CVBA.

If we decide to do this, we would model our Chamber after some of the successful Chambers in rural Arizona and gather resources and assistance from those Chambers and groups like AZ Local First and possibly the SBDC – Small Business Development Centers.

Creating a full Chamber will take more resources both in time and money. Membership fees will have to increase, but this will only be done as the Chamber starts to provide more and better services to its members and the Town.

The idea would be to hire an experienced person eventually as a full-time, paid employee to run the activities of the Chamber.

The time commitment from you as members would be that we need commitment from seven up to possibly 11 people to serve on the Board of this Chamber.

This will not be even be as involved as serving of the Board of the CVBA is currently. Chamber Board members will make decisions at their one monthly meeting and the Chamber Manager would implement those decisions.

So Board members will not be asked to be involved in the day-to-day activities of the Chamber.

-- Source: Camp Verde Business Alliance

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