The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce will have a new home soon, according to Peggy Renfro, president of the Chamber.
The move will take place between Sept. 20-27, and they plan to be open for business by Oct. 1 at 1714 E. Rusk St., the building that formerly housed Taylor's Western Wear.
“Due to an opportunity with JEDCO that would benefit Jacksonville, the city asked the Chamber to relocate,” Renfro said. “The Chamber, being a cheerleader for Jacksonville and local businesses, supports JEDCO in bringing more businesses and potential Chamber members. We are excited about the new opportunity to relocate the Chamber office.”
Jacksonville City Manager Greg Smith said the city entered into a year-to-year lease agreement with the Chamber this past November. He added that within the lease, the city is required to give six months notice if they plan not to renew it.
“The city did exercise that right, and we sat down with Peggy Renfro and Tom Trimble (Chamber Board Chairman) and gave notice to the Chamber on May 10,” Smith said.
No information has been released on the city's plans for the building. Smith said “last spring, an economic development opportunity that could potentially involve the Norman Center came up.”
He added that at this time it is unknown if the economic development plans will come to fruition, but if the project moves forward, more information will be released.
“The facts of the matter are we had a lease, and we said we may need out of it. We can neither confirm nor deny any of the projected rumors. We do not comment on a pending economic development projects,” Smith added.
Smith said the city and the Chamber still work great together and the city plans to continue to work with the Chamber for the good of the community.
The Chamber offices have been located at the Norman Activity Center since the mid-1990s.
“The Chamber has benefitted many years utilizing the use of the Norman Activity Center for various Chamber events,” Renfro said.
Trimble said the move to the East Rusk Street building is a temporary one, and will be on a year-to-year basis.
”The Chamber is working on two opportunities with the city, looking at two downtown locations,” Trimble said.“The city officials noted if the Chamber relocated to one of those locations, the city would work with the Chamber on a lease agreement of $1 per month. This would greatly help the Chamber with our remodeling expenses for either location. Moving to either location would benefit the Chamber and city. This is a great opportunity for the community of Jacksonville to come together in support of the Chamber. This will test my motto, “Work Together, Grow Together.”
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization that relies on individuals, churches, civic clubs, retail, industries, schools, non-profits, services businesses and many others to join the Chamber. Not only does the Chamber promote and provide network opportunities for its members, but it also acts as the information center for the Jacksonville community.
“Our members and the community will notice a few more events hosted and supported by members on behalf of the Chamber,” Renfro said. “Support your Chamber. A BIG thank you to Harry's Building Materials, Pam Anderson, Billy Bateman of Highway 69 Mission, Tom Trimble and Jacksonville College.”