Chatham Chamber of Commerce Seeks 20% Budget Increase

CHATHAM – The Chatham Chamber of Commerce is seeking a 20% increase in funding for the next fiscal year to help promote the town as a destination.

Last month, Chamber President Stephen Williams told selectmen they are seeking $90,000 in funding which would be a $15,000 increase from the current fiscal year to support marketing and branding for the town. The chamber’s total budget for Fiscal Year 2018 was over $182,000.

“It seems logical to me that the since the town itself isn’t out doing a whole lot of pounding the pavement to say look how great this aspect of Chatham is or that aspect of Chatham is that the chamber would be a good partner to help with that,” Williams said.

The focus of the increased funding would be likely used on marketing through social media and improvements to the chamber’s website, www.chathaminfo.com.

Town Manager Jill Goldsmith’s current draft budget included level funding for the chamber at $75,000. She said she has had a tough time with the increase request.

“It’s a struggle,” she said. “I go to the chamber events. I go to the stroll, but I really want to see some analytics as a town manager.”

Goldsmith believes the increase is now a policy decision for the board.

Selectmen tabled a vote on the request until further details can be provided.

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