GIRARD Chamber of commerce cuts back as interest and membership drop

The board of directors hasn't met since June.
GIRARD -- Lack of interest and falling membership will most likely cause the Girard Chamber of Commerce to change its direction.
Robert Griffith III, chamber board president, said Monday the group will change from one with an economic-development goal to "social networking."
Griffith said the membership has fallen rapidly from 100 to 75.
Dues are $125 to $175, depending on the number of employees, and businesses have decided to drop their membership to cut expenses.
The telephone at the chamber's West Liberty Street office has been disconnected. The board hasn't met since June.
Most local businesses are members of the Youngstown/Warren Chamber of Commerce and serviced by its staff, Griffith said.
Griffith, an agent with Griffith Agency Inc., his family business, said he will make the proposal to change goals when the chamber board meets Thursday.
Cutting back
Because of the reduction in members, Griffith explained, the chamber can't afford an executive secretary and hasn't had one for about a year.
One of the local chamber's programs was an annual trade show. It took a great deal of work that was done by the executive secretary, he said.
The organization has now become a volunteer group, and people aren't interested in volunteering, he said.
As an example of lack of interest, Griffith recalled having a speaker from the state chamber with only nine people attending, including his family members.

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