Crofton chamber seeks to rally business Interest dropped in recent years WEST COUNTY--Crofton * Odenton * Fort Meade * Gambrills

December 15, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Michael Finelli knew something was wrong when he was the only one to show up at a Crofton Chamber of Commerce meeting to learn about a new law requiring businesses to provide access for people with disabilities.

"I think that was a problem," he said. Business owners had a "lackluster attitude."

Leaders of the 3-year-old Crofton chamber have recognized the problem of declining interest -- only a handful of the 125 members showed up for meetings -- and are trying to do something about it.

Tony R. Cannetti, the chamber's director, has cut the organization's annual dues and planned several mixers to lure local business leaders into the fold and increase the organization's clout.

"Our main objective is to give the business community as strong a voice as possible on issues that affect them," he said. "I hope to get them to understand that the larger membership you have, the stronger voice you have."

Mr. Cannetti said there are at least 500 businesses in the Crofton area that could join the chamber.

He said he would like the Crofton chamber to have as strong a voice in the area as the Crofton Civic Association has.

"Politicians in Annapolis listen to them," he said. "We would like to be the same way."

Mr. Finelli even went to a civic association board meeting several weeks ago looking for ways to get the chamber more involved in the community. Members from each organization agreed to attend each other's meetings to talk about common interests.

Some of those issues include improvements to Route 3, incorporation of Crofton's special tax district and transportation problems in the area, Mr. Cannetti.

Mr. Finelli, who lives in Crofton and works for Primerica Financial Services in Columbia, said he joined the chamber last spring and was concerned by the lack of support.

He is working on recruiting new members and will be the chamber's liaison with the civic association.

"There is a lot the chamber could do if everyone chipped in," he said. "We should be active and take stands on issues."

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