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Grantham Chamber Dissolves: Membership and Participation Decline

Grantham — The Grantham Chamber of Commerce has dissolved, citing a lack of involvement and a dwindling membership.

The group, which was organized in 2006 to help businesses and promote the region, officially dissolved on Oct. 20 when the organization’s liability insurance premium was due, President Donald Gobin said last week.

The group was facing an insurance bill of $425 and a monthly website maintenance fee of $33.75, and Gobin said the board of directors decided it was not worth going another year.

“We had a good run for seven years, and we did a lot for the community, but it was time to move on,” he said.

The board’s Oct. 10 vote was unanimous, and the assets of the organization, about $5,000, will be given charitable organizations and events including Breakfast with Santa, the Grantham Scout Troop and the United Way. Money will also go to the Dunbar Free Library for its expansion and will help other organizations, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Grantham Chamber members put up flags around town for Memorial Day and other holidays. That activity will be taken over by the Grantham Volunteer Fire Department.

“We did a lot for the community, but one of the biggest things was the park-and-ride lot that we created and landscaped with trees. Money will be provided to keep the maintenance going,” Gobin said.

The chamber had 32 members listed on its roles, but only 16 had paid dues for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The remaining members have been encouraged to join neighboring chambers in Newport, Sunapee and Lebanon, Gobin said.

“We were down to a handful of people. We didn’t have employees, everybody was a volunteer, and the same people were doing everything all the time, over and over again.

“We decided just to get on with our lives. Maybe in the future, someone will step up and take it over,” Gobin said. “I hope that happens.”

Warren Johnston can be reached at wjohnston@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.