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Alh.Chamber May Lose $190,000 In City Funds

  • By David Barron
ALHAMBRA – The city of Alhambra may cut $190,000 in funding for the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, a chamber official confirmed this week.
The chamber has traditionally funded the chamber to support the production of a city newspaper and economic development campaigns.
The city has been successful in drawing many new businesses, but the current downturn in revenues may have finally take its toll on the city, said chamber Executive Director Owen Guenthard.
Mayor Gary Yamauchi said the chamber was notified of the potential budget cuts, but it is still too early to tell what will happen. City budget hearings are expected to begin next week, the Mayor said.
He said the chamber is an important part of the city and manages Alhambra’s Float Project, the Lunar New Year Festival and publishes a newsletter that is distributed citywide.
Most cities partner with their local chamber of commerce to conduct promotional activities and unify the business community.
But a spokesman for the chamber said the city has informed the chamber that beginning the next fiscal year, Alhambra might no longer grant the traditional $100,000 for operational expenses.
The city fiscal year begins July 1. The city may also eliminate $90,000 of support for the city’s float entry in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Chamber spokesman said.
Guenthard said the Alhambra Chamber plans to continue with the Rose Parade float project with contributions from community and business sponsors.
The Alhambra Chamber has been one of the most successful chambers in Southern California, having more than 500 members. The chamber owns its own office building located on 104 South First Street across the street from city hall.
In a website message, chamber president Carmelita Haltom expressed the history and goals of the organization.
“For over 105 years, the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce has been the business ‘voice’ for the region,” Haltom said. “Our primary purpose is to foster economic vitality for the betterment of the community.
“With nearly 550 members, this chamber represents a broad cross section of businesses, ranging from small merchants and non-profits to some of the nation’s largest corporations … The chamber has effectively partnered with city government, working closely to ensure successful major events, like the Taste of Alhambra, Chinese Lunar New Year Parade and Festival, and Tournament of Roses Float and Rose Queen and Court Luncheon, to name a few.
“The Alhambra Chamber of Commerce also has a unique collaboration with our local school board and is working to establish meaningful mentoring opportunities with local businesses. “

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