Members of the Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach chambers of commerce have voted to consolidate their organizations, said Judith Bean, president/CEO of the Arroyo Grande chamber.
Combining the nonprofit business organizations has been discussed for some time but did not move forward until recently, when the boards of both chambers agreed to pursue the idea.
A combined chamber would “better serve the joint interests of these two communities eliminate duplication of services and provide a more substantial voice for economic development and government affairs,” Brad Evans, chair of the Grover Beach chamber board, wrote in a letter to members.
During the last week, members of both chambers had a chance to vote on whether to combine.
Bean said the Arroyo Grande chamber received 167 votes in favor and eight against; the Grover Beach chamber had 21 votes in favor and two against (which reached the requirement of having at least 5 percent of members respond).
Both chambers were founded in 1961; the Grover Beach chamber has about 250 members, and the Arroyo Grande chamber has about 400 members, Bean said. About a third of the members belong to both organizations, she said.
A transition team will be established to turn the Grover Beach chamber’s office back to the city and guide the consolidation, Bean said. She will be president/CEO of the larger organization.
The name will likely be combined to the Arroyo Grande Grover Beach Chamber of Commerce, Bean said. “It’s long but it’s important to retain the names,” she said.
Events planned by the Grover chamber, including the annual Stone Soup Music Faire, Dick Regain Memorial Golf Tournament, and a new Central Coast Foodie Fest on May 20, will continue.
Grover Beach members who renew their membership by May 15 will pay that chamber’s rate; those who renew after that date will switch to the slightly higher Arroyo Grande chamber rate.