The Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce
To the members of the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce:
On March 31st, 2015, the GNHCC was reformed with ten new board of directors and one remaining past board member, attorney Brandon Wind. Many of the businesses in New Hope spoke up and wanted to see the GNHCC continue to serve the businesses of New Hope. We also heard you say that you wanted transparency. We, the newly formed GNHCC, heard your voice and that transparency begins today.
There are many reasons why the GNHCC needed to reform and stay in New Hope. First, the GNHCC had never left New Hope. New Hope has had its own chamber of commerce for many years. It took a break to reform its board of directors and mission statement. Also, there are two very valuable websites, and a Facebook page, that are resources for locals and visitors to New Hope that needed to remain in place. There is a bank account, with “your” money in it, that needed to stay with the members of the GNHCC and not be donated to any other group. There is also physical property that GNHCC members paid for that needed to be saved so that the GNHCC members could decide how it would be managed. Also, there are Pennsylvania and Bucks County grant monies, that can only be granted to Pennsylvania and Bucks Co. organizations, that the GNHCC can/will apply for. But more importantly, there is a voice, of the New Hope businesses, that still needed to be heard, and will be heard.
We know that one area of concern is the finances of the GNHCC. To answer the call, we have brought on First Federal of Bucks Co. branch manager Josh Oravis as the new Treasurer of the GNHCC. Many you know Josh and have your business account at First Federal of Bucks Co. where you have found trust. Josh is well known and respected in the New Hope business community and promises transparency. Joining Josh as interim Executive Officers are John Danaher – President, Joel Roberts – Vice President and Victoria Gia – Secretary. Please feel free to reach out to them with any questions or input! Each member of the GNHCC will have a copy of our treasurer’s report on a monthly basis. You will be able to ask the board to explain areas of the report that you may not understand. Your money will be protected, and stay in New Hope and with the GNHCC, with you having access to the treasurers report. It is “your” money.
There have been questions asked as to if the GNHCC will work with the other organizations that represent the New Hope businesses, e.g. the New Hope Business Alliance. The answer is clear and an easy one. Absolutely we will! We invite all groups, that wish to promote and support New Hope businesses, to join with us. In fact, two of our board members also sit on the board of the New Hope Business Alliance for that purpose only….to partner both the GNHCC and the NHBA together so as to work together for a stronger New Hope. Some may ask if it is a “conflict of interest” to have members of both groups serve on both boards. We say that is an “asset of interest” that makes both groups stronger. Each group, the GNHCC and the NHBA, have separate purposes, but both have very important purposes to help support and promote New Hope businesses. The NHBA just added eleven new advisors to the board, and with both groups working together, you now have 26 New Hope business owners working for you from both groups. Soon, both the NHBA and the GNHCC will share how we will partner together for a better New Hope, even though we are two separate groups with different roles.
Another area of concern is obviously membership fees and how that will work. The GNHCC will need to collect membership dues to be able to promote your business and operate various events. The new board of directors have changed the bylaws to reflect a prorated membership fee that will run from April 1st of the current year to March 31stof the following year. The yearly membership dues will remain at $150.00, but depending on what month you join the GNHCC, your membership dues will be 1/12th of that year. If you join in September, your membership dues will be 87.50 and so forth. And, for all current members, we have extended your membership by 3 months for free. This means that on July 1st, your membership fee would be $112.50. And, if you are receiving this message, then you are most likely a “current member”. Our membership at this time is around 120 members.
We do understand that this may not answer all of your questions, but in time, all of your questions will be answered. To do so, we plan to send out updates, on at least a monthly basis, concerning what we are doing at the GNHCC, to all members. You may also be provided with information on a less than monthly basis if we believe that the information is important to share with you. And, we are open to receiving, and answering, any and all questions as they come to us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within the next 60 days, we will be holding elections for Executive Officers. At this time, the people serving in these positions are on an interim basis. Any current paid up member of the GNHCC may run for these offices. More information concerning the date and process of the elections will be coming soon.
Thank you for your time and support, and the Board of Directors of the GNHCC look forward to working with you.