Happy Holidays to you, our valued member! The New Year is around the corner, so is high-season; which I know all our businesses are exceptionally excited about post Irma. This off-season was like no other. While we are still recovering physically and emotionally from Irma, it is exciting to have some holiday cheer and tourists getting ready to flock to our islands.
December marks the end of our fiscal year; so please be sure to keep a look out in your mailbox or inbox for your annual Chamber Membership Renewal invoice. Should you have any questions about it please contact us as we are happy to help as always. This year we are offering two options regarding your annual dues. If you are able to pay your 2018 dues in full by Jan. 12th we will deduct 4% from your dues amount. If you cannot pay by then we are happy to provide an extension until March 30th, but without the 4% savings. I understand the savings is not a significant amount, but if it helps and further encourages you to pay sooner than later then it will be a win-win for you and your chamber.
Other than Irma 2017 was another positive and productive year for your Marathon Chamber of Commerce! One area I am very proud of is our annual programs we have expanded and contributed to. Why, because they directly affect you, our business members and our local economy. In 2017 we again awarded $20,000 in business beautification grants; we awarded $10,000 in continuing education grants to twenty-six (26) business-members; awarded $5,000 in scholarships to five (5) MHS seniors as well as $5,000 to the Marathon Take Stock in Children program. Lastly awarded over $5,000 in donations to key local not for profits that benefit our businesses and local economy. (FIRM, FL Keys Days, Middle Keys Habitat for Humanity, Fishermen’s Community Hospital Foundation, Pigeon Key Foundation, and more).
As we move into 2018 I look forward to moving forward, seeing more of our hotels, businesses, and homes get fully repaired and back online. I look forward to normalcy and to working with our City Council on more workforce housing solutions; as well as to working with our TDC on informing visitors that we are up and running and getting better and better with every week that passes. I will look forward to seeing our businesses make up revenues and get back to a healthy and prosperous position, and most importantly helping you and our business community getting to that point.
The Marathon Chamber Board of Directors, staff, and I are all committed to working for and with you and your staff. Please be sure to get involved in our beneficial programs; ask questions, and let your Marathon Chamber work for you. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s later this month; be safe in your travels, and see you at our December events and then in 2018!