Chambers of Commerce discuss merge

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The Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce and the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce discussed a potential merge. The two chambers of commerce are holding meetings to provide more information for their members and to answer any questions.

The idea of combining the chambers of commerce has been debated for years. President and CEO of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce, Joshua Cline, said the chambers have been discussing how they can do a better job of supporting businesses in the area.

“The conversation really centers around: is there more we can do together than we can apart? Is now a time to have a conversation and really look at that?,” Cline said.

The merge would cause all of the current members to fall under one chamber of commerce. Since many businesses in Mercer County belong to both chambers, they would only have to pay one membership fee after the merge. According to Cline, this proposal could also have an impact at the state level.

“That gives us a greater voice in Richmond and Charleston when we do legislative things, but also consolidation of the business community. How can the business community come together and work better together?,” Cline explained.

Both chambers created committees to develop a plan for the merge. President and CEO of the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, Robert Farley, said the committees will then present the plan to both boards and members.

“If they agree, then it’ll be taken to our board over here and the board in Bluefield. If they agree and are in favor of it, then it’ll be taken to the members for a vote,” Farley said.

The next meeting for members is Wednesday, November 1st, at 12 p.m. in the Mercer County Technical Education Center. 

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