October 23, 2003

October Chamber Meeting Focuses On Arts, Upcoming Promotions

The prospect of a Scotland County Arts Festival took a step forward at Tuesday’s meeting of the Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce held at Java Jitters.

“We have so many talented people in this area, be it musicians, actors, painters, sculptors or whatever other artists,” said MACC President Jim Nishida Adams, addressing the 30 members in attendance. “There are various things that we can promote with this event, and may have it in connection with the Memphis Players’ summer production to draw more people to the area.”

Nishida Adams proposed the creation of a Fine Arts Council.

Greg Cowell, of Cowell & Cowell Feeds, noted the great success of the recent NEMO Food Fair held in Kirksville. The event featured unique foods from local producers. One of the more popular ideas for the festival was to have a Missouri wine and cheese event.

Nishida Adams noted that there might be some funds left from the old Tri-Rivers Arts Committee that could be used to kick start the new council.

MACC is considering holding the event in the late spring, early summer.

In other news, Nishida Adams reported that the first printing of the tourism brochures and business directories was gone and new brochures were needed. The MACC was taking bids from printers in Kirksville, as well as was waiting for a bid from Tri-Star Systems in Memphis. The Scotland County Rotary Club had donated $200 and Pepsi Cola Memphis Bottling had donated $100 towards this printing. There also may be around $400 available from an old Community Betterment Fund, according to Jeannie Bissell from Primrose Realty.

Several in attendance debated about the content of the business directory. There was a discussion about whether MACC members should receive special or exclusive mention in the business directory, since the chamber was printing it.

“When the (first) brochures were printed, we just listed the 294 known businesses in Scotland County,” said Michele Drummond, representing the City of Memphis.

All States Equipment printed the first editions free of charge.

“If this is a business directory, it should list all businesses,” added Dr. Harlo Donelson, whose Economic Development Committee coordinated the first printing. “If it listed just the chamber members, it should be a chamber directory.”

Jeff Behrens from Gerth & Baskett suggested listing all known businesses, but giving chamber members a highlighted entry in their category and listing their names above non-chamber members. The discussion was tabled for a meeting of the Media and Tourism Committee.

The MACC welcomed prospective member Claire Berg from Payne in the Glass and noted that a new business, Tri-Star Systems opened at the end of September. Ken McMinn, Tri-Star’s owner, said the new business features photo development- including one-hour processing – a copier service, computer sales and service, and DVD rental. Tri-Star is located in the former V’s Thrift Store building on Market Street, between Kountry Konnection and The What’s It Shop.

There are two new promotions coming up. All About Autumn, which honors the areas best decorated homes, ended last week. Judging was Friday afternoon.

The MACC is also hosting a Halloween Safe Stop on October 31. Almost 30 local businesses will have candy for children from 4-6 p.m. Listen for locations on KMEM and in the Democrat in the coming weeks. Flyers will also be posted around town.

The first 250 children on the square will receive a free reflective bag compliments of Hauk Seed and Feed. Tri-Star will be taking pictures of children in their costumes.

Sandy Arnold, from the Bank of Kirksville, of the Christmas Committee, proposed using part of a $500 grant from the City of Memphis to repair existing Christmas Decorations. Arnold estimated the cost of the repairs to be around $200-$300. Several older decorations need new tinsel, but could be repaired at a fraction of the cost of new decorations. Nishida Adams said he would like to see the Christmas decorations also extend farther outside of Memphis, noting that members such as Brock Station should also benefit.

A work date will be decided on at the next meeting.

The next chamber meeting will be at 6 p.m. on November 11 at Java Jitters, where the topic of discussion will be the Christmas season promotions.

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