Clinton advocate groups merge, become Grow Clinton

Members of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Clinton Regional Development Corporation met on Thursday, March 31, to approve merging into a single group, including the city’s tourism bureau. The new organization is named Grow Clinton. CREDIT GROW CLINTON

Three Clinton business advocate groups have merged into one new organization called Grow Clinton.

Members of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce (CACC) and Clinton Regional Development Corporation (CRDC) met Thursday, March 31, at the Sawmill Museum in Clinton and approved a merger that has been in the works for nearly a year, according to a news release.

The merger also includes the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is a division of the chamber. Andy Sokolovich, CRDC’s interim president and CEO, also is serving as interim leader of Grow Clinton. He told the QCBJ on Thursday that interviews have taken place, but a new president of Grow Clinton has yet to be named.

The new merger has to go through another step in order to be finalized. Mr. Sokolovich added that the lawyers need to complete paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office. “After the paperwork is filed, we’ll operate as a 502 © (6) nonprofit,” he added.

“We will be stronger together. … This is something I have been passionate about,” Mr. Sokolovich first told the QCBJ in late November as the merger process was advancing.

The new Grow Clinton group will focus on tourism, economic and community development.

“A merged organization will provide a coordinated, flexible approach to meet changing priorities… The combined organization moves the… Clinton region toward a more efficient and effective approach to maintaining momentum and growing our economy,” according to materials earlier provided by the CRDC.

For over a year, volunteers have been working on the details and logistics of merging the non-profit organizations. All three offices will now operate under a single umbrella, ensuring streamlined operations and improved functionality to enhance member services, the news release said. 

The skills of the existing staff will be leveraged to move the new organization forward. However, some titles of staff members may be changed to reflect additional responsibilities.

Grow Clinton also will be adopting a new tiered dues structure. The tiers will allow members access to services, including ribbon cuttings, event sponsorships, business assistance through partnerships with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and SCORE, as well as increased exposure via Grow Clinton digital platforms.

Its mission is to promote business growth, build community, and advocate for the sustainable economic success of the Greater Clinton Region. The region will include continued partnerships with surrounding communities such as Camanche, Iowa, and Fulton, Illinois.

While the name has changed, the Grow Clinton offices will remain at 721 S. 2nd St. in Clinton, and members are welcome to stop by or call and ask any questions regarding the merger.


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