Lumina News file photo
Sue Bulluck, Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce board member, leads a chamber luncheon on Sept. 19, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Resort.
The Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce is looking to build upon its revival in 2012 by diversifying its membership, WBCOC board member Sue Bulluck said.
After organizing what Bulluck called a constructive and energized board, she said the next step for the chamber is to diversify, develop a website and get on the same calendar year cycle as the Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee. Bulluck said board member Pres Davenport is currently developing the chamber’s website and that she hopes to work with newly hired town manager, Tim Owens, to develop the chamber’s relationship with the town.
“We are trying to reduce the amount of splinter groups out there with everybody trying to do their own thing and coming under some umbrella where we can all get together and focus on business promotion for the beach,” Bulluck said. “We really need to focus on raising some promotional money to match what is being spent from other sectors so we can have some advertising clout and get the message out.”
For diversifying and growing the WBCOC membership, Bulluck said she hopes to pull from the Wrightsville Beach Merchants Association roster as well as recruiting new businesses. However, new members would not be limited to the merchants within the town limits, Bulluck said.
“The chamber franchise goes all the way up to Military Cutoff, up into Mayfaire,” she said. “It was formed before the town took legislative action to remove the extraterritorial town limits.”
This is the same area included in the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Wrightsville Sound Small Area Plan. Bulluck said she believes the area shares similar concerns with Wrightsville Beach as well as serving as the geographic entrance to the beach.
“Even if we don’t end up with a whole new round of folks the first time, at least we will have a community that is talking to each other,” Bulluck said.
The history of the WBCOC is one aspect of the organization many are unfamiliar with Bulluck said, adding that board members Lisa Weeks, Maureen Donovan and Faylene Voet are compiling a brief history of it.
“Most folks really don’t know how much the chamber has done historically; most people view the chamber as only a luncheon kind of thing,” she said. “If the chamber had not purchased the trees along the Loop and conducted the fundraising for the visitors center, or many other projects, the town would be a very different place.”
The chamber will host an informal meet and greet for existing and potential members on Monday, Jan. 28, from 5-7 p.m. at South Beach Grill with appetizers. For new members to join the WBCOC, the annual membership costs $125 for an individual or nonprofit organization, $325 for a business with up to five employees and $400 for a business with more than five employees. Bulluck said the annual membership dues would be used for the chamber’s marketing and business promotions throughout the year.
For more information, contact Sue Bulluck at 910-619-2026 or Bks42@aol.com