The Salem Chamber of Commerce met Jan. 27 at noon in the Orange Room of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative headquarters. Carolyn Lewis led the meeting and the chamber discussed this year's agenda.
The Citywide Yard Sale and Fairgrounds Flea Market will be April 10 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Our regular date for that is the first Saturday in April, but that falls around Easter this time so we changed it to April 10," Lewis said. "The flea market is already getting some applications for vendor space, and we'll be advertising that (vendor space) statewide."
"Fulton County Homecoming will be coming up Memorial Day weekend," Lewis said. "We need someone to take over the Street Market. Dixie is going to be leaving us. She's moving to Washington." Dixie Harris said she is willing to help whoever takes the position until she leaves.
"Our fireworks will be on July 4," Lewis said. "Patricia Watkins said we had already paid $3,000 down on that, and we will have to come up with the other money in July. In 2009, we had donations that completely paid for the fireworks. The donations were great in 2009. I think everybody knew we hadn't had an auction and the community really stepped in and helped. Jerry Estes will be chairman of that again this year."
Lewis said the T-bucket rally that was held in August went well. Estes organized that event and they are hoping to do the same thing this year. "It will probably have to coincide with when they have the T-bucket rally in Mountain Home," Lewis said. She said last year's event attracted about 50 cars to show off to viewers.
"We'll have the Fall Community Wide Yard Sale on Sept. 25," Lewis said. "The Southfork Regulators will have two gun shows this year, March 13 and 14 and then a fall show -- the second weekend in September. That always brings a lot of people in. A new event is a Children's Consignment Sale. It'll be March 23 through the 27." A children's consignment sale is where people consign good, used children's clothing to go on sale. Lewis said there is a possibility that there will also be used toys available.
"We have a Fishing Derby that Farm Bureau and the NRCS office sponsors and it's on May 22," Lewis said. "Also on May 22 the Pride of the Ozarks Goat Breeders Association has moved their show and sale from the fairgrounds at West Plains to our fairgrounds. That'll be a two day event and that'll bring people in. The Fulton County Fair is Aug. 9 through 14. We've expanded. We'll have a six day fair this year and some new things coming up in it. And then the Ozark Foundation Breeders Association quarter horse sale will be Aug. 28. That brings people in from several states."
The chamber is doing well financially. A financial statement was given reporting that the chamber has about $7,770 in the bank. Lewis said the chamber received membership dues in the amount of $1,700. The Ozark Gateway bill for the chamber's share in advertising is about $550 and the chamber's half of the house insurance for the chamber house is about $700, which is due in February.
"We will have some more memberships coming in," Lewis said. "Holly (Pate) mailed out 150 membership letters and as of today we have 34 business members paid and nine individuals."
Several representatives from area businesses attended the meeting to say that their business plans to join the Salem Chamber of Commerce including Verizon Wireless in Mountain Home, Ross Ford, with Ford Insurance Agency, and the Ozark Mountain Music Makers. "We are working to get at least 75 to 80 members," Lewis said.
She said the new Dollar General Store is also planning on joining the chamber. The store's ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 13 at 8 a.m.
Because of last year's ice storm, the chamber didn't have its radio auction like it normally does in March. Instead it had a silent auction at the chamber banquet in October. Lewis said this auction didn't bring in as much funds as the radio auction normally does but she said those who attended the banquet really enjoyed it. The chamber has decided to do the same this year at the banquet.
"We need a better chamber Web site," Lewis said. "I have been kind of sending updates in."
"We're trying to find a volunteer in our community that might take that over and work on it for us," Lewis said.
Another item involving the Web site was that the chamber received a request to list all the area churches on the Web site. "To keep control of it, we (the board) decided to charge $10, a one-time fee, to list the church's information on the Web site," Lewis said. "We'll have a page just for the churches."
"The chamber house is available to rent to a business," Lewis said. "The board decided yesterday to rent it out for $250 a month, which is very reasonable rent."
Ken Harper, with Legacy Hospice, said the Hospital Foundation will have a political rally April 1 at the Hickinbotham-Miller Building around 6 p.m. A donation of $5 will be taken at the door. Ham, beans and cornbread will be served along with drinks and dessert.
Lewis said the chamber is also looking to guest speakers for upcoming meetings. If anyone is interested they can contact the Chamber President Holly Pate.
The next Salem Chamber of Commerce meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24 at noon in the Orange Room of NAEC Headquarters.