Millsboro chamber set to do business at downtown location

3 GMCOC ribbon only center

The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce celebrated its recent move to the downtown district with a ribbon-cutting/open house and a mixer on Feb. 23.

MILLSBORO – The Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce has been based at its new downtown location since mid-January.

A blue-ribbon ribbon cutting Feb. 23 officially christened that move.

3 GMCOC jess wiggins john thoroughgood

Blue Water Grill co-owner Jessica Wiggins speaks with Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood at the chamber’s ribbon-cutting at its new location in Chelsea Square off Washington st.

“Awesome; I think it’s a great move,” said Jessica Wiggins, co-owner of the Blue Water Grill located a stone’s throw from the chamber’s new rental location in Chelsea Square.

The chamber’s official address is 102 Washington St., Suite 6.

The GMCOC had been based several blocks to the west in an office rental at the Millsboro Town Center for more than a decade.

About two dozen attendees, many from the downtown business district, joined Millsboro Mayor John Thoroughgood, State Sen. Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View, chamber board members, other guests and GMCOC Executive Director Amy Simmons for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. A mixer that evening capped the celebration.

Business owners polled believe it’s a good move.

While their hope is for a continued symbiotic relationship with the town the new location erases the chamber’s identity crisis.

“Business people separate us from the town now that we are alone. When we were there they kind of felt like we just towed the line for what the town did and we accepted what they did,” said Ms. Simmons. “No, we don’t want everything the town does. And they don’t like everything we do. But we all get along.”

“Having the chamber in the town building is like having your parents still watching over you all of the time,” said Deb Doucette, co-owner of D & D Stained Glass on Washington St. “I just think people will now see it as an entity in town instead of part of the town offices. People were under the impression because it was in a town building that it was part of the town office.”

Mayor Thoroughgood owns Thoroughgood Transport and has been a Millsboro chamber member since 1983. He believes it is good for all parties.

“I think it’s a good move,” said Mayor Thoroughgood. “Of course they (chamber) moved out on their own. The chamber kind of wanted to get out on their own in their own building and do their own thing and be separated from the town building. Now the chamber has their own little office and they are right downtown. I just think it is good for everybody.”

“This enables Amy to really focus on the chamber,” said Ms. Wiggins. “It takes the responsibility away from her from town hall. She was an asset to them but I feel like she can really focus on the businesses and the chamber and do what she has always wanted to do.”

“The location is ideal. It’s in the middle; the heart of downtown,” said Ms. Wiggins, whose restaurant business has rebounded from a 2014 fire. “Everyone can find it now. Before, it was tucked away at town hall. You really had to search it out. Now it’s perfect.

“I think it is a perfect location for the chamber. It is right in the middle of town,” said D & D Stained glass co-owner Dave Lomas. “Everything winds up on Main St., and this brings some involvement over on to this side.”

GMCOC membership recently stood around 180. Two new members joined on Feb. 23. One was Sen. Hocker.

Mixers and monthly coffee networking events are among the chamber’s member-oriented initiatives.

“I am happy that it is here because I am also president of the Greater Millsboro Art League,” Ms. Doucette said. “To bring things together the chamber had a mixer over at the art league which had never been done before. We had a really good turnout for that.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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