Enderby Chamber of Commerce is cutting back staff
The Enderby Chamber of Commerce is tightening its belt.
Due to financial pressures, the organization will no longer have a full-time executive director and it will limit involvement in community activities.
“We have decided to scale back and go to more of a member-based chamber,” said president Melanie King-Campbell.
Darren Robinson is expected to depart as executive director Feb. 28 and a current employee will take on additional duties as general manager.
The need to handle staff differently became apparent when Robinson presented a 2013 budget that didn’t include his position.
“Financially, we just can’t operate at the current level,” he said.
“Narrowing our scope and working within our means must become our immediate priorities.”
The chamber will also become focused on education, advocacy and support for its 100-plus members, and shift away from community activities beyond its mandate.
“We will still take an active role in the community and a support role but what we can do is limited. We are getting back to the basics,” said King-Campbell.
“It’s a difficult process but we want to do what we do well.”
Among the community programs the chamber was involved in are river stewardship, doctor retention, urban planning and youth crime prevention.
Financial challenges arose in 2012 because of flooding in the area that negatively impacted tourism revenue.
“We also count on the RV park for income and it hasn’t been there for the last couple of years,” said King-Campbell.
The chamber will pursue revenue opportunities by redirecting some grants to establish a website that promotes Enderby as a tourism destination.
“We want to use engaging imagery and videos, stories and itineraries to continue to create more excitement about the diversity and array of visitor opportunities,” said Robinson, who will stay in the region once his duties as executive director wrap up.
King-Campbell is confident the restructuring process will be successful, and the first step will see the board of directors demonstrating leadership.
“The volunteer board members will step up to the plate and be more active,” she said.