Chamber wants more money for tourism, development

NORWICH – A 15 percent increase for promotional activities next year was not something county lawmakers meeting in committee Tuesday had anticipated.

“It’s a big pill to swallow,” City of Norwich Supervisor James J. McNeil told two representatives from the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce. Due to an oversight in the Treasurer’s Office, McNeil and other members of the Planning & Economic Development Committee had not yet received a current copy of the Chamber’s tentative budget for 2007.

Chamber President David Hall asked for a 10 percent increase, or $74,250, for economic development administration and a 5 percent increase, or $40,300, for tourism activities. He praised the efforts of the two Chamber employees directly responsible for each department and attributed a host of successes to each.

Hall pointed to approximately 80 new jobs that were created in the county this year as a result of administering the Chamber’s funding programs and networking with state and local business and government leaders. He noted $64,000 from the state’s “I Love New York” matching loan advertising program that was dispersed to tourism-related businesses, festivals and activities. A strategic plan was unveiled earlier this year, as well as a revamped web site. Other promotional efforts include coordinating tour bus bookings, festival calendars and other promotional brochures.

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