Chamber to make pitch for more funding in Pima, Graham County

PIMA — Vance Bryce will make his final two stops on his tour seeking more money for the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, speaking before the Graham County Board of Supervisors and the Pima Town Council to start March.

The chamber is seeking a larger financial contribution from Pima, Thatcher and Graham County, which will enable bed tax revenue to be spent on marketing of the area rather than for chamber operations.

“We haven’t brought a lot of the chamber programs over to Thatcher and Pima,” Bryce said. “We’re really excited to roll out everything we’ve got over there, over in Thatcher and Pima. And we’re asking for more funding so we have a reason to do it.”

New events proposed by the chamber include a hot air balloon festival and Miss Gila Valley Pageant in January, a tourism conference in June, Pima Palooza in October and Thatcher Cotton Days in November.

The Chamber is proposing increasing Thatcher’s contribution from 4 percent to 20 percent of the Chamber’s budget, Pima’s contribution from 0.1 percent to 10 percent, Graham County’s from 3 percent to 5 percent and decreasing Safford’s contribution from 64 percent to 38 percent. Funding from memberships would remain flat.

Bryce will speak before the Graham County Board of Supervisors on Monday and the Pima Town Council on Tuesday.