March 20, 2003
SCBPA To Become Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce
The Scotland County Business and Professional Association met for the final time March 11 at Java Jitters in Memphis. No, the long-time merchant's group has not dissolved. It simply has changed its name to the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce.
After lengthy discussion regarding the proposed name change, the group voted to make the change. Members considered a name change to Scotland County Chamber of Commerce but ultimately settled on the new designation because Memphis is the most recognizable name in the region.
Members questioned if the outlying towns in Scotland County would feel offended by the name change but representatives from Rutledge and Arbela who were present at the meeting indicated they didn't believe it would be an issue.
The name change has no connection with a proposal to have the local merchant's group join the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. The group will discuss the issue further at the April meeting.
In other business the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) made plans for its customer appreciation pancake day to be held April 5 at the Memphis Fire Station. Members of the association will cook breakfast for guests from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The group heard from Memphis Economic Develop-ment Committee chairman Dr. Harlo Donelson who reported on two printings his group is looking to undertake. Donelson stated the organization is considering publishing a book of statistics and information to help entice new business to the region. The second printing will be a brochure mainly targeted at tourism.
MACC President Jim Nishida-Adams proposed a new accounting system for the group's finances. He suggested a monthly plan that would allow the group to pre-approve upcoming purchases and expenses.
The organization voted to extend the contract with Skyhouse Consulting to host the www.scotlandcounty.net website. The website committee will review available hosts and related expenses and present a full-time solution at the next meeting.
The MACC is also considering working on printed materials similar to the economic development plans. Nishida-Adams suggested the two groups coordinate their projects to cut costs and eliminate duplicated services.
The MACC plans call for three brochures. The first would be a local business directory to be available to all residents. The second brochure would focus on tourism and would be distributed at area restaurants and motels as well as at the Hannibal tourism information center. The third publication would focus on economic development.
In conjunction with the printed materials, Nishida-Adams discussed creating a networking system with surrounding communities to help promote the region overall.
Member Karl DeMarce commented on the process stating Memphis and Scotland County might not be the initial target for tourists. However via networking the community can draw visitors that are coming to the area to visit the Nauvoo Temple or Mark Twain exhibits in Hannibal.
Representatives of Skyhouse Consulting addressed the meeting regarding the community website. Members of the MACC can have a business webpage located at the website. The Internet site provides information regarding the community and also features a business directory listing all the merchants in Scotland County. The directory will then link to each individual member's website offering browsers information regarding business hours, location and other valuable information.