Committee Says No To Funding Hispanic Chamber 7/30/13
CBS 7 News
July 30, 2013
MIDLAND-For the second year in a row, The Community Development Advisory Board told the Midland City Council it should not give funds to The Hispanic Chamber. It could be the end for its small business incubator.
The Hispanic Chamber gets $60,000 each year from the city for a program that gets small businesses up and running. Councilmember Michael Trost says the committee questions financial reports and whether the chamber used the money to pay for salaries.
"Their recommendation was not to fund it because there were insufficient records kept to justify funding the request,” said Midland City Council Member Michael Trost.
The Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce declined to comment today, but another council member says the committee made the same recommendation last year, with concerns the money may have been paying off chamber loans.
“They had some internal financial situations that needed to be reorganized, rethought, re-planned,” said Midland City Council Member Jerry Morales.
Morales says it has been two months since he saw financial reports, but says the chamber has been working to share records with the city.
"We worked hard on tying to understand their funding, where the money is going, outstanding loans, etc.” Morales said. “They did their due diligence by sending in reports each months.”
Without the money, Morales says the small business incubator could close.
"I don't believe that the incubator would be able to survive,” Morales said.
The chamber will have a chance to plead its case for the program at the next city council meeting August 13th. Last year despite the committee’s recommendation against funding, the council did vote to give the group the money.
Photo courtesy Midland Hispanic Chamber.