Beaufort Regional Chamber partners with Main Street Beaufort

The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce is now a partner with Main Street Beaufort, sharing board members and creating a new position to manage events.

“By combining our resources, we can continue to thrive as an organization,” Main Street Beaufort chairwoman Mary Ann Thomas said in a chamber news release.

The chamber will create a full-time job managing Main Street events such as A Taste of Beaufort and the annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival, the release said.

Three Main Street Beaufort board members will join the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce board. Thomas and future Main Street chairs will have a seat on the chamber’s executive committee.

Main Street Beaufort members in good standing will become members of the chamber, receiving benefits for the remainder of their membership year.

Main Street had a tough year in 2015.

The nonprofit representing businesses downtown wasn’t included in the city’s budget for the current fiscal year, a contribution that had been about $50,000. A vacant membership and events coordinator position was frozen, leaving director LaNelle Fabian as Main Street’s only employee.

Heavy rains washed out the Shrimp Festival this past October. The organization tried to recoup its losses by adding to its annual holiday festival in December.

In the release, chamber chairman Jim Wegmann called the move “an ideal fit” for both organizations.

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