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New Hope Chamber of Commerce tries for a comeback

John Danaher (L) and Jim Jolly (Center) have led the chamber's revival effort

John Danaher (left) and Jim Jolly (center) have led the chamber’s revival effort

The Board of Directors of Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce (GNHCC), adrift since November, voted Wednesday night to appoint new directors and move to revive its operations.

The five existing GNHCC directors, whose terms are about to expire, appointed one of their own, Doylestown attorney Brandon Wind, along with Joshua Oravis (First Federal of Bucks), John Danaher (Merging Music), Gregg Zollo (Berkshire Hathaway Realtors), Victoria Gia (Victoria Hair Couture) Peter Edwardson (Edwardson Builders/Construction Managers), Anthony Favoroso (Villa Vito Restaurant), Joel Roberts (Mechanic Street Mugs), Paul Licitra (Mechanic Street Development), Jim Jolly (The Angels Light), Mike Lawson (Olivia’s Bridge Street Inn) and consultant Kristin Schultz, to serve on the new board of directors, subject to finalization.

“New Hope needs a New Hope-specific chamber because New Hope and Lambertville are two separate towns in many different ways. And, the businesses have relayed this concern to us,” said the GNHCC in a statement.

“We have two well-established GNHCC websites that we need to save (the GNHCC website and Visit New Hope website), we have GNHCC membership money in the GNHCC bank account that the New Hope businesses want used for New Hope, not given away to someone else, and there are ‘New Hope business paid for’ physical items, in storage, that need to stay in New Hope, or be sold to help the New Hope businesses,” said GNHCC of their reasons for reforming.

In terms of membership dues, the group said, “To help begin repair past damage to the GNHCC, some have tossed around the idea of giving the GNHCC members, who were still members from October to this current date, a three-month free membership to the GNHCC.  Over the next month we can look at what membership fees look like. Right now, the NHBA is a ‘free’ membership organization.”

The GNHCC appeared to move toward formal dissolution following a March 4 meeting, but had left open the door to reformation should interest in reviving the organization materialize. New board member John Danaher has spearheaded that revitalization effort with the help of Jim Jolly.

On January 15, the board of directors of the Lamberville Area Chamber of Commerce voted to rename and re-brand the organization under the “Greater Lambertville-New Hope Chamber of Commerce” banner.

Said Lambertville-New Hope Chamber Executive Director David Morgan, “We’re working at representing the business interests on both sides of the river, and it’s a full time job with a full time staff. We fully believe that our communities are tied together economically, and we’re working to advance the business prospects on both sides of the river.” Morgan said his group has signed up 205 members as of this week, with many of them originating from Pennsylvania.

The New Hope Business Alliance, a business-advocacy group formed in October, 2014 and currently holding open elections for executive officers, said in a statement, “We congratulate the New Hope Chamber on this historic move, and look forward to working together on bringing more visitors to the streets of New Hope.”




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