Members of the Daleville Area Chamber of Commerce learned about other members, what chamber membership offers and other chamber business during the quarterly chamber membership meeting held at Daleville Assembly of God on Monday, June 10.
Four members spoke throughout the meeting about the services they provide to the community and even other businesses. The members were Enterprise Insurance Services, Daleville Assembly of God, A&C Tax Service and Eagles Wings Technology.
The chamber also reviewed its financial report that compared this year’s cash flow to last year’s cash flow statements.
According to Chamber Executive Director Kecia Ham, last year’s financial statements showed the city’s payment to the chamber for the executive director’s pay was given “in cash” as part of the organization’s income.
“(The chamber’s) total income in the first six months of their functioning included allocations from the city,” Ham said. “That’s what, last year, the chamber brought in through events and allocations up until June.
“This year, with the help of a great board (and great members), we have brought in $14,467.”
This income, a 33 percent increase in income from last year, does not include the water board’s financial assistance, according to Ham. She said the city now only covers the payroll for the chamber.
The financial statements for the chamber show the $14,000 includes income from Spartan Fest, the city’s pageant, membership dues, and other miscellaneous areas.
“We had no way to track what spending was done last year, what income was from membership, what income was from sponsors, so on and so forth,” Ham said. “That’s one thing that we have started separating (into categories) to let you know where this money’s coming from. We want you to know not only how much money we have, but where it came from and also where it’s going out.”
The financial statements for the chamber show that expenses for the chamber are down almost 19 percent than at this time last year. Last year at this time, there was around $11,000 in documented expenses, and this year, there have been about $9,000 spent in various categories.
Ham said this decrease in spending has come from looking at more options when purchasing materials, choosing more cost-effective office supplies and more.
“We don’t buy things that are unnecessary, for one,” she said. “We don’t have the expense of payroll that is being covered by (the water board).
“We got a laser printer, and it was more expensive, but you get a lot more copies. We print off a lot of stuff; that’s just one way. When we have events, we ask for sponsorship and we ask for participation months in advance to give you guys time (to support events).”
She said the chamber tries to “shop around” for various items in Daleville, but there are times where the best financial option is found outside the city.
“We would rather keep it here, but we also have to look at it (like) we have to use this money wisely,” she said, stating the city’s queens are also becoming more fiscally responsible to help the chamber. “We can afford to do a few more events… really try to get the community involved in all of this, and that’s our biggest goal.”
Both Ham and Powell spoke about the goals of the chamber, which are to hold more events, place more in newcomer’s packets for Fort Rucker events, give back to chamber members and even offer a small scholarship to the Miss Daleville of that year at Daleville High School.
“We have a lot of ideas,” Powell said.
Ham also announced that the city and chamber is advertised in the Dale County Welcome Guide “for the first time in many years.”
“We’re getting out there; we’re getting noticed,” she said. “We’re growing.”
Ham and Powell also asked chamber members to alert the chamber to their events and activities for promotion.
The chamber also took time during the meeting to speak about the volunteers who helped make Spartan Fest on May 18 a success.
“There were some volunteers that actually showed up from the community to help out (at Spartan Fest),” Daleville Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Michelle Powell said. “There was a kid from the high school who actually came out and helped the band set up the stage, and then the next day (he) was there to help them take it down. If that’s not kids wanting to be a part of this, I don’t what it is.”
She said the chamber is working to have more of the students from Daleville High School be involved with community and chamber events.
Following her remarks, Powell and Ham acknowledged Jeff Ham for his work during Spartan Fest while thanking the other volunteers who were not in attendance.