Bonham Chamber Makes Changes - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Bonham Chamber Makes Changes

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BONHAM, TX --The Bonham Chamber of Commerce has decided to break away from the city and the city's economic development corporation amid financial turmoil. Deeda Payton has the local reaction.

The Bonham Chamber of Commerce is struggling financially. The Chamber says its decision to operate independently is all part of their efforts to adapt to a new budget, because the city and the Bonham Economic Development Corporation took away their funding.

Mayor Roy Floyd says they cut their funding because the city no longer believes it is prudent for taxpayers to fund the Chamber.

But, the question on local business owners minds is, "Can the chamber be effective at promoting the city and bringing in new industry without working as a team with the city itself?" "I wish they'd resolve it somehow and just work as a city because you can't have a chamber without everybody else going together," said Nancy Barber. "I wish them the best. I do wish they could provide support for the downtown Bonham area," Rhonda Greenfield.

"Everybody is dedicated and the board has put a lot of time and energy into the decision, and they feel like we can make it and it's just not an option to not have a Bonham Area Chamber of Commerce," said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bill Jones.

This is a schedule of how the funding cuts were made over the past five years, according to the Chamber:

In 2004, BEDCO began paying the chamber to hire an Economic Director to promote the city and strengthen the chamber.

In 2008, funding was decreased from both BEDCO and the city.

In December 2009, funding to the Chamber was cut completely.

Now, the Chamber is moving forward, moving into a new building across the square and moving in it's own direction independent of the city.

The Chamber is currently supporting two big projects, a new lake and an electric generating plant, that will bring new jobs to the area.

As for the city, Mayor Floyd says they are members of the Chamber and will continue to support their efforts as such. We'll keep you posted on what happens.

Deeda Payton, KTEN News.