BREAKING – FC Chamber Board votes to become inactive

WINNSBORO – The Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce announced in a press release on Monday that it will become inactive as of June 30, 2018.

“After carefully evaluating its feasibility, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to take this action. The primary factors that led to this decision included limited financial support, reduced participation during the traditional Chamber structured events, as well as limited volunteers,” the release stated.

Asked by The Voice if the Board will disband the chamber as of June 30, 2018, a source on the Board who asked not to be identified said the chamber is not filing with the Secretary of State to disband, but that it will become inactive as of June 30. Until that time, activities will go on as normal, the source said.

The source also said that all Chamber employees will be let go as of June 30, but that the Chamber will remain in an inactive state after June 30, the end of the Chamber’s fiscal year.

The Chamber is funded primarily by the County, at $87,500 annually, and by the Town of Winnsboro for Town sponsored events at $35,000 annually. Asked about that funding, County Council Chairman Billy Smith said he was surprised to hear that the Board’s decision to go inactive was, in part, due to limited financial support.

“No, the County has not cut the Chamber’s funding,” Smith said. “We have contemplated the idea of reducing it, but only because their representatives couldn’t answer basic questions Council members had about their plans for the future during our second budget work-session.

“Council then offered the Chamber every opportunity to keep their County funding the same as it has been in the past, even offering assistance on planning. Now I really don’t understand the suggestion of ‘limited financial support,'” Smith said.

“Between County funding, the money the Town of Winnsboro gave the Chamber for the first time this year, and the proceeds from their golf tournament (which they said they aren’t going to do anymore),” Smith said, ” I’d think the Chamber had more financial support now than at anytime before, at least in recent history.”

Chief John Seibles with the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety, which oversees the festivals in the Town, including Rock Around the Clock and the Pumpkin Festival, told The Voice that the crowd at last year’s Rock Around the Clock was large and orderly.

“It [Rock Around the Clock]  was larger than in past years and it ran smoothly as I recall,” Seibles said.

Board Chairman Harper Shull could not be reached for comment at this time.

The Voice will update the story as it develops.


Related: Council gives Chamber notice