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Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, economic group to merge

With just a few details to be worked out, the merger of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Economic Development Association (SEDA) is a done deal.

Saying the mission of both agencies are similar in nature and scope, Rado Harrington, who since December has been acting director of both the Chamber of Commerce and SEDA, announced the pending merger last week.

"We see the merger as a way to strengthen both agencies," Harrington said.

The merger announcement, which was voted on during recent board meetings of both groups, becomes effective when the two agencies complete their move into new offices at 700 S. Sixth St., Harrington said.

As a part of the merger, the chamber and SEDA will be restructured to include much more committee work by the two boards, which are expected to also merge, he explained.

SEDA, which until recently was known as Sunnyside Inc., is designed to assist in the recruitment, development and retention of businesses in the Lower Valley, Harrington explained.

By the same token, Harrington said the mission of the chamber is not that much different. "Chambers typically also work to aid retention of businesses in a community, as well as to offer members additional training and support," he said.

"By combining the chamber and SEDA, we'll be able to pool all of our resources and become a one-stop office to aid new businesses and existing businesses," Harrington added.

He said the new agency, which still doesn't have a new name yet, will also be pooling personnel, as well as finances.

"We will also continue to focus on tourism activities as well as community events," he added.

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