Northcenter Chamber Will Become the First Independent Chamber of Commerce in the City of Chicago
Please take note of this recent press release from the Northcenter Chamber:
NORTHCENTER, CHICAGO – The Northcenter Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted unanimously to decline grant funding from the city of Chicago beginning in 2013. In the past, the chamber relied heavily on an economic development delegate agency grant to fund basic operations. Over the last several years however, the chamber has reached annual revenue and reserve levels where the city funds are no longer necessary to operate.
“We are extremely proud to be able to announce this decision,” said chamber President Simon Stein. “In 2012, 90 organizations across the city received this funding so it’s a unique position the Northcenter Chamber has achieved,” he said.
Garrett FitzGerald has served as the chamber’s executive director since 2006. He noted it had not been easy to get to this point but achieving financial independence has always been a goal. “We had some very lean years in the 1990s and early 2000s. If it weren’t for the delegate agency program, the Northcenter Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t be here today.”
According to the Annual Financial Analysis 2012 distributed by the City Clerk’s office, the projected budget shortfall for 2013 is $369,000,000. It also projects that deficits could be as high as $655,000,000 in 2014 and $855,000,000 in 2015.
“Times are tough for a lot of people and businesses right now,” said FitzGerald. We feel it’s our duty, both ethically and morally to relieve any taxpayer burden we can.”
“Chambers and non-profits around the city are dealing with a serious funding crisis,” said 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar. “I’m happy to see the Northcenter Chamber find ways to be sustainable in the current climate without reducing their commitment to the community. The Northcenter chamber is an integral part of our neighborhood and a great partner in economic development and public service.”
As a declaration of board unity on this decision, all the chamber directors who voted on the measure signed the final resolution.