by Bill Knowles
TRINIDAD — Jack Israel, chamber treasurer, announced at the chamber’s March meeting that the Trinidad Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce is financially sound for 2016. With the first two months of the year showing $12,500 in the bank based on a budgeted revenue of $7,900, the chamber began looking at the spring and summer season of events and fund raisers.
The climb from a disastrous three year decline in revenue to positive financial footing in the first two months of 2016 was acknowledged by the chamber board in its recognition of the hard work of board vice president Linda Barron. “She went out and worked hard at increasing memberships in the chamber over the past two years,” the chamber’s interim executive director Della Stevens said.
Before that, the chamber saw its accounts payable and net income fall into negative territory, with 2013 being the worst year. Barron is credited with leading the growth of the chamber.
It is through efforts like the recent block party celebrating the opening of Commercial Street that speak for the return of the chamber of commerce. “There were 17 businesses open during the party,” Barron said. “Over 350 people attended, many of whom were spontaneous celebrants. We received many positive comments.” The chamber thanked the people who attended for their actions, respecting the area by picking up trash, and simply having a good time.
The next block party will happen either this spring or summer when the chamber will celebrate both Main St. and Commercial St.
The chamber also approved, on a 9-0 vote, a ‘new’ logo celebrating its 135 year history. The logo was both the first and oldest logo in its history: a scene depicting the city with Fisher’s Peak in the background. “We can say we’ve been moving forward for 135 years,” Barron said.
The Trinidad Las Animas County Economic Development Director, Jonathan Taylor, introduced himself to the chamber. He related to them his experience working in North Carolina, making note of the differences in law and the way TABoR allows for the integration of various organizations such as the chamber, tourism and travel board.
The board also discussed events it is developing for the 2016 spring and summer season.
In May the chamber will kick off its membership drive. This will be followed by the Santa Fe Trail Festival, which will be held at Central Park, June 10-11. The discussion then moved to the Fourth of July celebration and the part that the chamber may play. Then in September, the chamber will sponsor the Glo-Ball Golf Tournament to be held at the Trinidad Golf Course. In October the “Meet the Candidates” forum will happen in the Massari Theater on the TSJC campus. A week later it will sponsor the 2016 Business Expo, which was a success in 2015 with around 300 attendees making the event.