Pocono Chamber Considers Partnership

STROUDSBURG -- Directors at the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce are weighing options when it comes to getting more members to join the organization.

One idea on the table is to partner with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

"This is an option we should look at because we need help administratively in the office running the chamber. We don't want to change our name. We want to remain the Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce. We will have our complete board, executive committee. We will still call the shots," said George Roberts, Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Pocono Chamber of Commerce tells Newswatch 16 that since 2007, membership has dropped from 1,500 to 500 as businesses have closed or moved.

Chairman George Roberts says partnering with a chamber that has thrived may help fix the problem.

"Now is the time to see how we can make this a better chamber with more value for our membership, so we are exploring different options on how to run the chamber," Roberts said.

"We've heard that it's really something that is important to their executive crew, to their board, and to a lot of the members that have even reached out to me since the news came out," said Marlyn Kissner, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. "They just want to be strong, vibrant, and support their businesses and they know with our track record. We can come in and help them."

Stroudsburg Mayor Tarah Probst is also a business owner on Main Street. She's also part of a newly formed group of downtown business owners. That group is brainstorming ideas to bring more shoppers to Stroudsburg. She believes a partnership with another chamber of commerce would also be a good thing.

"You need more people to get things done in the Poconos. The Poconos is a lot bigger than people think it is, but more importantly, just our downtown alone, Stroudsburg is the only Main Street. It's the county seat. We need more attention down here," said Mayor Probst.

The Greater Pocono Chamber is expected to decide in November if it will partner with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.