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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

City of Bishopville Not Represented at Lee Chamber Meeting


BY RANDY BURNS rburns@theitem.com

"... About 60 chamber members and business leaders attended Tuesday's meeting, which was called in response to the chamber's current financial crisis. The chamber has a membership of 189 members, with about 26 members being delinquent in paying their dues.
"At the beginning of the year, we knew we had a shortfall of about $5,300," Santoscoy said. "But we've lost some members, and we have a number who have not been able to pay dues."
Santoscoy said the chamber now needs to make up a shortfall of $11,000 to keep the doors open through the end of the year. The shortfall represents more than 20 percent of the chamber's revenue..."
"... For the chamber's immediate financial needs, Beasley suggested the chamber hold a raffle. Most of the people at Tuesday's meeting appeared to prefer a raffle or lottery instead of a 60 percent increase in current dues. Most dues are in the $100 range, Santoscoy said.

Rep. Grady Brown, D-Bishopville, recommended a raffle as 'the way to go.' Raffle tickets would be priced at $100, and each chamber member would be asked to sell two or more tickets.
Randy Burns/The Item


'I have never known a raffle to fail,' he said.

Brown offered to go to the bank and borrow $10,000 to give to the chamber for a 60-day period.

South Carolina Cotton Museum Executive Director Janson Cox offered to donate a car for the raffle.

Chamber member Marsha Hewitt said she believes most members will come on board to support the chamber.

'Maybe we need to turn this into a church meeting and pass the hat,' she said.

Jake Smith, chamber member and owner of Jared's Ace Hardware Co., said he believes the combination of a raffle and increasing due memberships is the best solution.

'I think the chamber could give special consideration in some way, and it doesn't need to cost the chamber any money to any business or member willing to give extra,' he said.

Bishopville City Council was not represented at Tuesday's meeting..."

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