Winter Park & Fraser Chamber look for solutions to Fraser’s withdrawal
Catherine Ross, Executive Director of the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber discussed Fraser’s decision to withdraw town funding at the Winter Park Town Council meeting on Dec. 20.
The absence of Fraser’s funding will affect the Chamber’s budget in areas such as marketing and social media.
Fraser adopted their budget on Dec. 7 without any funding allocated for the Chamber. The withdrawal means a loss of around $75,000 for the Chamber.
Ross said the Chamber must reconsider their budget. She suggested that some services that are contracted might need to be brought in-house, such as social media services. Fraser’s funding supported services in the Chamber’s budget for marketing and social media.
The Winter Park Council agreed that the town must keep up their efforts with the Chamber to promote the major developments they have seen this year such as the permanent stage, attainable housing units, and the Winter Park Express.
Ross pointed out that Winter Park provides a huge portion of the Chamber’s funding, and that they are willing to work with the Town to find a solution to the deficit in funding they will see in 2017.
Council members Chris Seemann and Nick Kutrumbos stressed that Winter Park cannot let Fraser’s withdrawal negatively affect their town by finding a way to continue marketing and social media efforts similar to the current strategies.
Ross said for January of 2017 the Chamber would try to temporarily reallocate some money to keep the social media services as they are now. Ross and Winter Park Town Manager Drew Nelson said they would try to come up with a solution to the funding deficit.
Fraser currently has 89 members of the Chamber. When the Fraser Town Council decided to withdraw funding, the Board stressed the importance that Fraser businesses continue their Chamber memberships, but the Town plans to go their own direction for business recruitment and promotion.
Ross did not say that the Chamber would be changing their name, but they may reconsider what kind of an entity they are, as a whole, in the future.
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Grand County voters will be deciding on a number of issues this November from tax increases to school board memberships. Ballots were mailed out last week and Election Day is Nov. 2.