Business is growing in Hampshire County, but an institution of business — the Hampshire County Chamber of Commerce — is calling it quits.
“Nobody feels good about it,” Chamber President Carter Wagoner of Shaffer Funeral Home said. “It’s just the way it is.”
Wagoner posted a message last week on the Chamber’s Facebook page announcing the decision. The group stopped taking email and phone calls the day before Thanksgiving.
The decision came when a call for volunteers to join the organization’s board received “minimal” response.
“The current Board’s tenure is expiring and with no one offering to fill the positions, the Chamber will dissolve,” Wagoner wrote the members.
He noted in an interview Monday that he and Vice President Mark Landis were still filling the 1-year terms they were elected to 3 years ago.
The Chamber will settle its accounts and any remaining funds will be donated to the Hampshire County Community Foundation.
The group’s website listed 114 members.
“I think every town needs to have a Chamber of Commerce,” Wagoner said. “I think it’s vital.”
But the lack of new blood in the organization made continuing on impossible, he said. “It’s the same faces,” Wagoner said. “They’re in everything you can be in.”
The group will vacate the offices it rents from the Fort Mill Ridge Foundation in Taggart Hall. The lone employee, Kali Jo Gardner, will be laid off.
“She was an incredible asset,” Wagoner said, “and she’d be an asset if a new chamber organizes.”