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Neosho Chamber of Commerce Partners With City

Two Neosho groups put their differences behind them to make the city a better place.
NEOSHO, MO -- Two Neosho groups put their differences behind them to make the city a better place. Many Neosho residents believe the Chamber of Commerce and Neosho city officials have a rocky relationship. Today they met specifically to put any issues in the past, creating a partnership between the two groups. Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce President Eric Norris says the passing of Economic Development Director Gib Garrow caused the Chamber to enter "unchartered territory."

"When I say unchartered territory, we're finding some things that we needed to have some new definitions around how we operate. Right now we operate with our Economic Development arm and the Chamber of Commerce as one, and we're working really hard to separate that," said Eric Norris, Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce President.

Chamber officials say with that separation, they found themselves $5,000 short of the 2014 budget.

"It's nothing that we're too alarmed about, but we realize that we've got to go out and create some partnerships and strategies to try and generate revenue," said Norris.

Although there's been some public speculation of tension between the Chamber and City officials, both groups want to put rumors of issues behind them.

"In the community they felt like the City Council and the City Government of Neosho and the Chamber of Commerce didn't get along," said Norris.

The Chamber is asking the City for help funding events that would enhance the community. Pending approval from the City Council, the City will partner with the Chamber - using money from tourism taxes to support their cause.

"Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Neosho are committed to work together to bring activities, to continue to make Neosho a great community to live in," said Norris.

"It's important that we're always working together and moving Neosho forward in a common direction," said Richard Davidson, Neosho Mayor.

Whatever the outcome may be, City officials say they're ready to move forward in a positive relationship with the Chamber of Commerce.

"It's exciting. I was born and raised here, I've got a business here, I'm raising a family here; this is what the chamber and the city should be doing," said Davidson.

The Chamber of Commerce will present their ideas at the City Council meeting on Tuesday evening.
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