Before falling victim to what was shaping up to be a unanimous vote against it, the chamber revoked its request to the City Council for Redevelopment Agency money. The council told the chamber earlier this month it does not support funding the organization to the tune of $72,000 a year and would prefer it disband. The council questioned the effectiveness of the chamber and its ability to be self-sufficient.

The chamber will relocate to McGovern Insurance on El Camino Real, where it is being offered free rent by one of its members. It will rescale its operations to fit its new budget and will seek a “high-powered administrative assistant” instead of a new executive director, said chamber President Ron Denman.

“... Support was clearly not evident here in this room two weeks ago. A subsequent meeting with the RDA subcommittee confirmed this belief, and by the end of the meeting we had agreed to an amicable separation,” Denman said at last night’s council meeting.

The council remained silent at last night’s hearing and only Mayor Phil Mathewson made parting comments to the chamber, saying he hoped to maintain a healthy relationship.

The chamber will be holding a “Doing Business in Belmont” workshop and conference Thursday at City Hall. Immediately following that meeting, chamber members will pack up their office at City Hall and move to its slightly larger space on El Camino Real. The chamber currently boasts a membership of 200, but believes the number will go up when all the dues are collected, Denman said.

The chamber will not seek a merger with San Carlos or Redwood City chambers of commerce — a suggestion made earlier by Councilwoman Coralin Feierbach.

“We might not be the biggest chamber, but the way we work and the way we succeed gives our members and our board good reason to hold their heads high,” Denman said.

This is cache, read story here