The Metro-Forest Chamber of Commerce is back in action and starting a process to develop a business improvement district following a three-year lapse.
The group, which initially formed in 1991, will host its first meeting in three years at 9 a.m. on Sept. 19 at American Legion Post 1424, located at 107-15 Metropolitan Ave.
Gene Burch, the group’s former treasurer, said the chamber would soon hold elections for its leadership.
Currently, the group’s steering committee is in the process of reviewing its old by-laws and drafting new ones, said chamber member James Van Westering.
“The new by-laws will outline the functions and goals of the chamber,” Van Westering said. “Prominent among those will be to support the business activities of its members. Our long-term goal would be the establishment of a business improvement district, but that will take years.”
Additionally, the chamber will host local events, such as flea markets, sidewalk sales, parades, street fairs and holiday lightings.
And the group will aim to draw new businesses to the area it represents along Metropolitan Avenue between Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard.
“We’ve conducted a survey and we’re trying to pinpoint the areas of need,” Van Westering said. “The corridor lacks a clear identity. Certain types of stores are missing. We want different types of retail that would increase traffic. This can become an attractive neighborhood destination.”
The chamber is working with the neighborhood development divisions of the city’s Department of Small Business Services.
Van Westering said the chamber would be active this year, but that the group would not be working on the business improvement district application until next year.
The district would not likely be up and running until 2015, he said.