Hancock Chamber of Commerce dissolved

by Geoff Fox

The Hancock Chamber of Commerce has dissolved after an organizational meeting last Tuesday, March 26.

There had been talk at prior meetings about dissolving the chamber, but no action had been taken until now.

According to Penny Pittman, the Chamber board will send out letters to members explaining what is happening to the remaining funds and outlining reasons for the dissolution.

In an email to The Hancock News, Mayor Ralph Salvagno said the leadership of the Chamber had served for greater than 10 years.

“The remaining members were unable to move into leadership positions,” he said.

Attendance, he said, at infrequent but regular meetings was “minimal” and a consensus was reached among Chamber members at the March 26 meeting that dissolving the Chamber was appropriate.

While the Chamber can serve as a valuable advocate for the business community, Salvagno said there were mixed feelings about the future of the organization, “but it was clear that in the absence of new leadership there were no other options available.”

The loss of the Chamber of Commerce leaves a hole for businesses promotion, but one the mayor thinks the town will fill.

Salvagno said the town would continue to advocate for the business community and “perhaps take a more active role” in some recent projects such as support of the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

“The town will continue to seek input from current business owners to assist them in promoting, preserving and growing their business,” the mayor said.

He also said the town is “very grateful” to the Chamber and past officers with a special thanks to Pittman.

“The Town appreciates the Chamber’s advocacy of the business community and support of economic development,” Salvagno said.