The Tooele County Commission may give the Tooele County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism $60,000 from the county’s general fund.
Budget adjustments for 2019 considered by the County Commission at its June 4 meeting included adding a line item to the general fund budget for $60,000 for the Chamber of Commerce.
The June 4 meeting was the first reading of the proposed budget adjustments. The second and possibly final reading for the adjustments may be on the agenda for the County Commission’s June 18 meeting.
“With this $60,000 we are restoring a line item for the Chamber that used to be in the county budget,” said Tooele County Commission Chairman Tom Tripp. “The Chamber of Commerce does business development and helps with the county’s public image.”
Tripp said, if approved, there would be a plan and objectives set for the $60,000.
County Commissioner Kendall Thomas said allocating funds for the Chamber of Commerce is like investing in local businesses.
“The chamber does a lot of work supporting and training for our small local businesses,” Thomas said. “What good is it to go out and recruit new businesses if we are losing businesses. Let’s work to keep the businesses we have.”
Chamber of Commerce executive director Jared Hamner listed several activities of the chamber that benefit local businesses and the county’s business climate that would benefit from the $60,000.
“We have top-notch training events,” Hamner said. “And we provide a one stop access to business resources like the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, and the Small Business Development Center.”
The chamber has developed a local attorney coalition that provides pro-bono legal advice to businesses and tax experts to advise business owner, he said.
The chamber puts on the annual Taste of Tooele event, the Business Expo, is involved with career fairs and hiring events, and has launched a “Shop Local” campaign on social media.
The chamber has also worked with the World Trade Center and helped local businesses start exporting, according to Hamner.
“We are personally visiting our local businesses and asking ‘What do you need?’ and ‘How can we help you grow?’” Hamner said.
In addition to the $60,000 from the county’s general fund, the County Commission approved in May 2019 a $21,000 post-performance reimbursement grant from the county’s tourism fund for tourism specific functions to be performed by the Chamber of Commerce.