The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, formerly known as the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, is closing effective May 1, 2022. In an emailed statement, Chamber leadership cited financial woes caused, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the closing.
“In August of 2021, at the time of reorganization of the Chamber of Commerce, the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors hired a professional consulting service to reconcile Chamber financials. It has taken six months of diligent review to reconcile the accounts and accurately assess the full measure of debt accrued during the COVID-2019 pandemic by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce,” the letter states. “The Board of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce has determined that in light of the complete findings of the financial review, it would be irresponsible and unstainable to continue to operate.”
The statement goes on to say that Chamber board members are saddened by the decision, as they have been “highly enthusiastic with the community momentum we have acquired since October 2021.”
“Nevertheless, we are certain that this course of action is necessary to uphold our ethical responsibilities to our members. We will not continue fundraising to cover expenses that are increasing our deficit spending each month, now that we are aware of the full financial situation,” the statement reads.
In light of the financial review, the Chamber Board believes the only responsible course of action is to close the Chamber in its entirety and liquidate all assets.
“The historical method of accumulating financial burdens and attempting to cure that with month-to-month fundraising would be irresponsible,” the statement reads. “The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Board and Staff appreciate the support through the years and evolution of the Chamber of Commerce. We ask for your understanding as we make the tough, but necessary decisions to close the organization.”