Carol Stream Chamber Looks Warily to Future with Village to Stop Funds in 2 Years, Group May Narrow Focus
Mawhorr, S. A., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: S.A. Mawhorr Daily Herald Staff Writer
Carol Stream's chamber of commerce has experienced record growth in the past several years.
Membership has grown by 15 to 20 percent a year to reach an all-time high of 210 - nearly 25 percent of all businesses in town, said chamber president John Wheeler.
But the chamber's future is a little cloudy because the village will stop funding the chamber in two years.
About six years ago, the chamber counted 57 members, said president John Wheeler.
The turnaround came in 1994 when the chamber combined with the village's tourism and convention bureau and started receiving significant funding from the village.
The director hired for the tourism bureau, Deloris Simon, became the chamber director.
The village has been funding the chamber using money from the hotel tax revenue. Last year, the chamber received $65,000. This year the chamber will get $58,000.
But the funding will stop in two years with a final transfer of $44,000.
Simon is the reason for the chamber's success in recent years, Wheeler said.
Having an energetic director working full time to identify and meet the needs of businesses has transformed the chamber, Wheeler said. …