After months of merger talks with two merchant groups, the Downtown Partnership has announced it is joining forces with the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
“There are many positive benefits to this union, including bringing together like-minded people who are dedicated to making our downtown a continually better place to live,” said Steve Queior, Chamber president.
The Partnership will become a unit of the Chamber and will be called the Downtown Sarasota Council.
Phil Chmieleski, Downtown Partnership chairman, said the combination will help his group, because the Chamber has a larger membership, staff and organizational infrastructure.
The Partnership ran into financial difficulties earlier this year, and its executive director, Debra Torres, resigned after four months on the job to save the organization money, according to Chmieleski.
Chmieleski and Queior said Downtown Sarasota Council will work closely with the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, the Downtown Improvement District and others interested in improving the downtown business district.
The Chamber will co-host the Partnership’s Dec. 3 annual dinner, featuring guest speaker Mayor Pam Iorio of Tampa.
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