Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce plans upcoming projects

Monday, March 2, 2015 Glen Cantrell leads the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce through a lunch meeting on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

The Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce met for a working lunch at Katy's House (formerly Soup and Nuts) on Friday, Feb. 28, 2015.

Chamber president Glen Cantrell led the meeting, as the group discussed a number of projects that they have in the works.

Several guests were present to give their input in the meeting, including Gateway Shoes Manager Alan Estes, who was asked what the chamber could do to aid the new business in its efforts to expand.

Gateway Shoes currently employs 19.

"We've had several inquiries from customers who would like to do business with us," Estes said. "They're interested in what sort of 'amenities' are available in Bloomfield--whether the community has the machine shops, auto parts stores, and tool and die businesses they need to support an operation."

Chamber members listed several local businesses that would fit the description.

"We need to invite some of these business owners to join the Chamber of Commerce," suggested Shaaron Keisler. "Their input could be quite important."

Cantrell said that he had recently attended an economic development conference in which it was pointed out that communities are now working to get the 40-50 job plants, rather than the 100-plus plants that they used to go for.

Former representative Billy Pat Wright, representing State Senator Doug Libla, was present at the meeting and assured the group that the senator was willing to help.

Chamber members gave updates on several projects, including the 70/30 grant that the county received to invest $100,000 in the restoration of the old courthouse cupola.

"We hand-delivered that grant application to the capital!" said Keisler.

The group discussed the April 23 annual meeting, which will be held at the Trinity Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. Sue Mayo indicated that the nomination committee would be meeting in about two weeks to decide on the awards. The nominations will be ready at the next chamber meeting on March. The meeting will be a breakfast at Elderland Restaurant.

Discussion was held concerning the annual Bloomfield Fall Fest to be held in October. Chamber members help with this event, though the Lion's Club is in charge and sets the theme.

The Lion's Club is sponsoring a breakfast on March 21, 2015 from 5:30 to 10:00. They are selling raffle tickets for a half a hog. The proceeds will go to provide two college scholarships.

Chamber members discussed a promotional flier that could be handed out in various locations, giving information on restaurants and businesses.

It was decided to promote the Stoddard County Historical Society Museum, as well.

Other ideas included a talent show, a quilt show, a shuttle bus to the museum (where last year's quilt show was held), and a reenactment at the Stars & Stripes Museum.

The group discussed the new Bloomfield City sign to be erected at the south entrance to the city. It will be brick and will replace the old wooden sign.

Memorial Day festivities were also discussed, including ways to get people to stay in town longer by providing more for them to do. Paula Yancy suggested that the chamber promote the eateries in town. The group discussed putting welcome signs up to direct visitors to restaurants and to the museum.

Goldie DeGroot indicated that she had 7,000 or more people coming to Granny's Pickers on Memorial Day weekend. She suggested handing out a flier to each person, telling them what else was offered in town that weekend.

Jim Mayo reported on the progress for the new sidewalks, as part of the Safe School grant and said that two more new historic markers would be going up in the near future.

The new library was also mentioned. It will be built on the old police station site.

Those present for the Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 chamber meeting were Glen Cantrell, Shaaron Keisler, Goldie DeGroot, Sue Mayo, Jim Mayo, Paula Yancy, Nelda Warick, Billy Pat Wright, and Alan Estes.

The next meeting will be at 7 a.m., Friday, March 20, 2015 at the Elderland Restaurant on Highway 25 in Bloomfield.

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