Lee County to Fund Chamber Budgets

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Unless the item gets pulled from their consent agenda, the Lee County Board of Commissioners will quickly approve over $629,000 in TDC money to fund three Chambers of Commerce, including Fort Myers Beach. The money will be used to replenish their budgets.

The Fort Myers Beach Chamber will receive $294,000, Sanibel is slated to get $275,000 and Pine Island $60,000. Those are the only 3 Chambers that will receive the Tourist Development Council funds.

The Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Pine Island Chambers were hit hard following Hurricane Ian. Many businesses that fund those three Chambers through dues were either completely destroyed or damaged in the storm. They were obviously not open for business and generating zero income. Revenue generating chamber events came to a screeching halt and buildings that housed Chamber HQ’s were damaged or destroyed.

Fort Myers Chamber President Jacki Liszak told Beach Talk Radio News, “The Chamber and its Board of Directors are humbled and honored to be considered for tourism marketing funding from the VCB/Lee County and is committed to utilizing any funding received to support tourism related efforts related to Hurricane Ian. Due to the Chamber’s loss of its office, loss of event and advertising revenue and the need to scale back its operations, this funding will be a critical component to the economic recovery of the Chamber and the community it serves. The FMB Chamber greatly appreciates this opportunity and is prepared to be a part of the collaborative effort to bring businesses, residents and guests back to Fort Myers Beach.”

Sanibel Captiva Chamber President John Lai said, “We are incredibly grateful to the BOCC for approving the disbursement of these funds to drive visitation through marketing and enhance the visitor experience through our visitor centers. As our communities rebuild and our coastal communities welcome visitors things such as marketing, expectation management, and resources to promote our hotels, restaurants, attractions, retailers, and services are critical.These funds make those things possible.”

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I want less traffic and shlocky businesses in Ft. Myers Beach. Why is tax payer money being giving to an organization that only represents commercial interest? Is the Chamber of Commerce going to lobby on behalf of the wildlife? Do they want to preserve the property values of the current home owners? Do they care how long it takes a resident to get to Walmart and back? Are they concerned that takes me 45 minutes to drive 3 blocks to Publics (I of course ride a bike or walk 3 blocks. I am just trying to make a point).
    The Chamber’s interest is to cram as much business and tourist on the Island as they possibly can. They do not care about the environment or quality of life of those that live on this small Island. They should not be receiving tax revenues to support their agenda.

  2. This article makes me chuckle. All the money that is funneled through the Chamber of Commerce (Pack) organization and the federal government (we) are giving them money to survive. You have got to be kidding. And this is an election year.

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