Monday, July 11, 2016

Chamber Informed of Grant to Restore Depot

Chamber Discusses Depot,  Bryant Building & Business Development

After dealing with the minutes of the June, 2016 board meeting and reviewing the June, 2016 financial statement, the Bradley County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors listened to a variety of reports and discussed several projects.

Chairman Mike Nichols reported that all bills are paid for the 2016 Pink Tomato Festival and there should be a small surplus to help start the 2017 event.  He indicated a full financial report will be forthcoming for review.  He indicated an appreciation event will be held for city police employees, city street employees, county sheriffs office personnel and others who helped make the festival a safe and successful undertaking.

The board was informed that a grant of just under $60,000.00 has been awarded the Downtown Network to help restore and upgrade the railroad depot.  Another grant is being sought from Delta Regional Authority to assist in completing the project.

Gregg Reep suggested that a committee of the chamber board be appointed to research and come up with concrete and workable plans to deal with the Bryant Building located on Main Street that is owned by the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Reep said the building has to be rebuilt or torn down.  He went on to say he did not see a feasible way to repair the building any time soon, if ever.  He further stated it may make more sense to tear it down and try to leave the front wall and maybe leave show rooms for the display of products by local merchants and businesses.  Mr. Reep stated there has been some discussion that local firms might help tear the building down in a cost effective manner. The committee would look at all options and cost and make a recommendation.  He stated he felt action was due as soon as possible.

Chamber President Joel Tolefree gave reports on the upcoming Bradley County Fair, plans for Christmas, the Santa Train, the need for new board members and the future annual chamber banquet.  The board talked about each of the items mentioned.

Stephanie Harton briefed the board on her work with the Small Business and Technology Development Center located at UAM.  She indicated the office visits Warren the first Monday of each month to visit with anyone desiring to start or expand a small business.  They are available in the offices of the Bradley County Economic Development Commission on Myrtle Street from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.  The organization can assist with marketing, human resource issues, and seeking business financing.  Stephanie can be reached at 870-460-1808 or email her at 

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