Daytona Regional Chamber Gets Funding for Headquarters Project
Small-business owners will soon have additional opportunities for assistance, thanks to an agreement between the city of Daytona Beach and the Daytona Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement provides up to $300,000 for the development of a Small Business Resource Center at the Chamber offices on E. Orange Ave. using a Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Grant, which allows the business organization to move forward with a project that began taking shape nearly five years ago.
“In May 2018 we began the process of looking at our current building and factoring in future needs we would have for staffing and meeting space,” said Nancy Keefer, Chamber president and CEO. “Early on we realized we had an opportunity to convert the chamber building to accommodate a business center as an epicenter of activity for our community with training rooms, collaboration areas, new technology and future programming geared towards small business.”
Keefer said the initial timeline was to begin renovations in March 2020 but the project was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We put a pause on the project as we assisted our members, the Chamber itself, and the community in returning to more normalized business functions,” she said. “The concept for the building was ‘visionary’ at the time, and with a few more years to access business and community needs, we found the time was now to provide a place for businesses to interact, have access to a hub for business, and provide the community with professional training and meeting facilities.”
The plans include a business center space on the first floor with more than 4,000 square feet of room with a variety of functions, such as training rooms, collaboration areas, a podcast studio and other uses.
With the renovated space, Keefer said the Chamber will be able to create several training and consultation programs. The plans also include expansion of the organization’s board room on the second floor, an executive meeting room and a total redesign of all chamber office space.
Cost for the project is budgeted not to exceed $3 million, and in addition to the grant funds approved by the City Commission, will be paid for with assistance of other public and private partners.
Work on the project is expected to begin in April and take up to one year to complete.