Homer Chamber of Commerce Update

Homer Chamber of Commerce Update

This month I’m going to talk about a subject that previous directors have danced around: the grant we receive from the city of Homer.

Every year the chamber goes before the Homer City Council to ask for, and justify, the allocation from the city that is used to market the city of Homer.  In real terms we have a contract with the city to perform a service. The city realizes that if we didn’t do it, they would have to. But this is a non-departmental allocation that is never assured, and the amount is never “stamped in stone.”

Unlike other non-profits who need and use their allocated funds to help pay for their operations, the chamber has a contract with the city to use those funds for marketing only. It does not pay for salaries, utilities or other operating costs. It goes toward advertising, helping host travel writers and professionals when they come to our town, and other marketing initiatives we put in place during the year.

This has always been a contentious issue in our town. I know that many people don’t want the city to “give money to fund the Chamber.” I’m hoping that my explanation of what’s behind the process will help alleviate your concerns.

I promised when I took over here to make an effort to be more inclusive in how we promote all of Homer. Many members and non-members believe we care only about tourism-related businesses, like fishing charters and lodging.  That may have been true, but I am thinking about, and working on, ways to make this less true.

When I was hired here I also promised to be honest and truthful with you, whether you are one of our members or not. (How else can we get more members if I’m not?) This is an effort on my part to do just that.

I’ll go before the Homer City Council to explain how we used the funds in 2013, and make a formal request, in public, for the next year’s funds. You can hear me do this at the council’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 28.

And if you would like to speak to me about any of this, don’t hesitate to call. My best to you all.

Jim Lavrakas is the executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce. The chamber’s mission is to support its membership through cooperative economic development and community service.

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read