The Madison County Chamber of Commerce met for its regular session on Thursday at Black River Electric Cooperative.

The chamber discussed its website and the work that member Tessa Rehkop has put into it. The chamber requests that any local event organizers send an email to info@madisoncountycc.com with information about upcoming events so they can be added to the event calendar.

The chamber briefly discussed decals for membership. These are still being completed and members will be encouraged to use the bicentennial logo next year.

It was reported by President Allison Boyer that the chamber had no new members this month. A membership blitz is planned for 11 a.m. on Aug. 29 at Pizza Hut in Fredericktown. All members are invited to participate.

The chamber is wrapping up the group’s missions statement and plans to have it finished soon.

Due to Fredericktown R-I canceling classes for the day of the eclipse, volunteers are no longer needed to assist with the viewing. Boyer did, however, speak with Marquand-Zion R-IV Superintendent Scott Blake and he stated that he would let the chamber know if they still have a need.

The chamber is planning to throw a dinner at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11. Ideas were discussed and Rehkop is going to look into venues.

City Administrator Doug Friend pitched an idea to the chamber of selling a bicentennial coin. Friend brought an example of a coin Sikeston had made for one of its events.

The chamber discussed having a window decorating contest in April with the theme being 200 years of Madison County.

Boyer reported that Rehkop wrote a letter on behalf of the chamber in support of the Extension Office’s efforts to secure a grant under the Community Wide Barn Quilt Project.

There will be another “Perk Before Work” event at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 at Safe Harbor Hospice. The chamber discussed making it a networking event for members and possibly having a different business sponsor each month.

Lastly, the chamber introduced Deputy Director David Grimes from Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission to discuss a research project into the possibility of a business incubator in the region.

Grimes asked the members of the chamber to complete a survey at https://www.surverymonkey.com/r/semoincubator.

“You know your business better than I ever will,” Grimes stated. “Eighty percent of businesses die in that first three years."

He went on to say that the purpose of the incubator is to get startups past that time period. Questions about the potential incubator building can be directed to Grimes at 573-547-7283.

The next regular meeting of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce will be at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 14 at Black River Electric Cooperative.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal.  She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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