CLEARWATER — The directors for each of the two Clearwater chambers of commerce have voted to merge the organizations.
Though the two groups announced plans to merge in the spring, votes by the downtown Clearwater Regional Chamber on Sept. 26 and the Clearwater Beach Chamber on Sept. 30 formalized the agreement, said Amanda Payne, executive director of the beach chamber.
“Effective Oct. 1, we are merged and we begin the process of combining operations,” Payne said.
Coalescing into one organization will be somewhat tricky. Each chamber maintains a separate membership list and each has an annual awards event, publishes a business guide, and produces its own promotional materials.
Then there is the question of the future of staff positions. The beach chamber will keep its beach office at 429 Poinsettia Ave. open, Payne said.
“We are still in the rebranding process,” Payne said. “I hope to have something sooner rather than later to unveil, but all staff remain and all of our current locations will remain active.”
The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, formed in 1922, became two organizations in 1997 when businesses on the beach formed the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“We have always been married and separated for a while and now we’re back together,” Carol Hague, executive director of the regional chamber, told the Beacon April 5. “There’s been conversation for years, ‘Why don’t we put the two chambers together?’ We think the time is right.”