Board of Trade identifies vision

Greenwood Board of Trade president Jim Nathorst sat down for an interview recently to look over the course set for the next year.

Jim Nathorst, who was recently returned to the position of president of the Greenwood Board of Trade (BOT), sat down with the Times recently to discuss the vision of the organization.

“Obviously we are going to try to get the July 1st parade going again,” he said. He explained he’d like to combine July 1st and Founder’s Day. “Get the committees together and make a long weekend of it.”

The Christmas light up will still be done by the BOT too,” he said but added that, “We want to refocus and work on economic development. That is our number one priority rather than the other kinds of things that we could do.”

He said the BOT really wants to work with the city on economic development too. City council voted in the early summer to contact the BOT about forming an economic development committee for the city. “It really comes under BOT jurisdiction as well,” said Nathorst. “Look to our mandate and our mission statement it’s right in there. Economic development is key. We need to have more people to share in taxes.”

He said he is looking forward to a September roundtable with representatives from organizations, businesses and the city.

He hinted he would like to see tax incentives put in place that might encourage development. Under the Community Charter council may enact revitalization tax exemptions that would apply to qualifying improvements for a period of time not longer than five years.

Nathorst said he’d met James Wilson, Executive Director for the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and that he anticipates further discussion to “see if there is something that we can collaborate on. I don’t see why the BOT and Chamber can’t work together on some things. We’ve never had a discussion as far as I know.”

He said the BOT still feels strongly that they should have their own autonomy.

Nathorst added that the BOT wants to encourage more volunteers to come out and help with parts of what we do. “The parade is a lot of work, I know there are people out there who will get involved but the don’t want to become a member of anything.

“That is fine. You don’t need to be a member.” He explained that for the last few years it has been BOT executive members who have been trying to organize everything, but that is difficult because, as business owners, they have to work on the days these events happen.

He said the BOT will “help out with direction and financing, but it would be nice if we can draw people out.”

The next meeting of the Greenwood BOT will be on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. upstairs in City Hall courthouse.