Lindsay Chamber raises funds to keep in business

Jeannette Peterson taking in payments from customers at the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce’s Baked Potato Sale in Lindsay, Ca.(Rigo Moran)

Lindsay Chamber of Commerce raises funds through a baked potato sale to keep operations cooking after it rescinded a dissolution letter that was sent out in August

LINDSAY – The city’s chamber of commerce is restoring new hope for the organization after it almost went out of operation last month.

To raise some funds in its efforts to keep the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce up and running, the chamber held a baked potato sale on Monday, Sept. 18. The sale was next to the old Bank of America parking lot in Lindsay.

“It went really, really well. We had just a lot of people and thank goodness we had a lot of volunteers,” president of Lindsay Chamber of Commerce Henry Brower said. “That’s definitely it’s just going to help get us back on track and going forward.”

New hope grows for the chamber now, according to Brower, who said the organization sold around 500 potatoes and raised approximately $3,500 to combat their ongoing financial struggles. This round of funding comes after the chamber rescinded its dissolution letter, which would have spelled out the end for the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce’s operations, and instead decided to take steps to keep the organization alive.

“We want to continue getting the services that they’ve been giving the last few years, and this is just a way to keep them financially,” Lindsay Mayor Hipolito Angel Cerros said about the baked potato sale at the Lindsay City Council meeting on Sept. 12.

The food sale was organized after the chamber sent an email to its members on Aug. 22 informing them that the organization would be officially closing its doors on Aug. 31 due to financial issues. However, the chamber of commerce has since switched directions while they look for ways to stay afloat financially.

So far, the chamber has appointed a new president and is in the process of bringing on six new board members. The new board members for the chamber include Mercy Herrera, Mayra Magallanea, Genevieve Doane, Dennis Doane, Armando DaSilva and Norma Paz.

“We don’t want to dwell on the past and we’re really looking forward to (going forward) since everything happened. We’ve got the new office, so we’re saving money on rent that way,” Brower said.

Brower explained that the chamber is now longer renting their old office, but instead set up their desk in a corner of a building space that someone is allowing them to use free-of-charge for the time being.

Brower said the chamber’s main goals going forward is to continue community events, provide resources for businesses and bring the community together. They plan to do this by working closely with the city manager and the police chief in Lindsay as they try to stay involved in the community.

The next step to fixing the chambers’ financial problems, according to Brower, is getting more local businesses to become members. The annual membership fees help the chamber financially while the larger network of business contact results in more successful events.

“We would love to have every business and Lindsay become a member,” Brower said.

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