The City of Independence has long been a dues paying member of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber of Commerce Bylaws provide en Ex-Officio seat for the City Manager.
In 2017, the City Council adopted Independence for All, a five-year strategic plan designed to achieve improved customer service and communication, stable and sustainable City finances, increased economic prosperity for businesses and residents, and a quality built environment. These goals were developed through a collaborative process engaging thousands of community stakeholders. The Chamber of Commerce provided valuable information and direction in the development of “Independence for All” to align the City’s goals, objectives and resources with the needs and desires of the business community.
As the City seeks to further implement the priorities of Independence for All, it is necessary for the City to engage its partners in a more strategic relationship to help advance that cause. As such, the City is seeking to transition away from its membership in the Chamber of Commerce in favor of a contract for services. This contractual arrangement is common in many municipalities across the country, and would also allow the City to support the Chamber of Commerce in achieving its core purpose to provide leadership that builds a business community of excellence.
Presently, the City of Independence pays total membership dues of $11,390 to the Chamber of Commerce: $3,840 for a "Trailblazer" membership for the City, and $7550 for a "Charter" membership for Tourism. These dues afford the City various membership benefits, including the annual golf tournament, annual banquet, and other networking events.
In the proposed contract for services, the City would pay a total sum of $10,500 for the contractual services, with an additional up to $10,000 for various membership programs as deemed appropriate and advisable.
The first year of the contract would be July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019. To achieve the financial and strategic goals of the City and the Chamber, the City proposes the following service deliverables in exchange for membership:
-Advocate for the City of Independence legislative priorities, approved by the Chamber Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors and included in the Chamber’s Legislative Agenda
-Host, at least monthly, legislative briefings with State Representatives and Senators
-Organize and execute, at least annually, a legislative advocacy day in Jefferson City in concert with City elected officials and appointed staff
-Provide testimony from Chamber staff and/or Chamber members at legislative committee hearings on an as needed basis as approved by the Chamber Board of Directors as part of their public policy process.
-Lead exploration and promotion of funding options to grow and diversify revenue sources for City services
-Survey member businesses to explore preferences regarding local revenue issues, including potential ballot measures supporting City sales and/or personal property taxes. Examples may include, but are not limited to Use Tax, Museum and Tourism Related Activities Tax, Economic Development Sales Tax, and General Obligation Bond
-Advocate for and promote revenue-generating measures endorsed by the Chamber Board
-Assist in developing and promoting “Pledge for Public Art” encouraging businesses to include funding for public art in future construction and renovation projects
-Develop, adopt, and promote “Pledge for Public Art”
-Provide resources for image/marketing campaign and brand roll-out
-Support the promotion of an image/marketing campaign and brand roll-out, to be started approximately January 2019