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home : local news : local news July 9, 2020

1/17/2007 12:46:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Chamber loans skating rink $20,000


Robinson Chamber of Commerce has loaned a local business $20,000 to help pay for its renovation.

The chamber board Thursday approved the HOME loan to the new owners of the skating rink on Outer West Main Street in Robinson, Vince Mickey and Bill Shick; their partnership is called Shickalic and the rink is doing business as Sk8 and Sport. The loan has five percent interest and is to be paid back over five years.

The loan leaves more than $8,000 in the chamber's HOME loan fund, and the chamber currently has $4,800 in outstanding HOME loans - to the Gingerbread House day care center, which is almost paid off, and to the Eagle Theater, which was the last HOME loan granted about three years ago.

The HOME (Help Our Many Employables) fund was established to help local businesses add and retain jobs. Sk8 and Sport is expected to have one full-time employee and 10 part-time employees.

The skating rink's original request from the HOME fund was $25,000, but the chamber executive board wanted to make sure enough remained in the fund in case another request was made this year. The rink's total financial package for the renovations is about $150,000, including bank financing and a loan from Crawford County Development Association.

Also at the chamber meeting, the board learned that the chamber is planning customer-service training in March. The training will be offered on three consecutive Mondays - March 12, March 19 and March 26 - in 90-minute sessions beginning at 8 a.m. The course, called "Customers First - Service is Key," is created and presented by University of Illinois Extension educators.

The training will cover topics such as understanding customers and their expectations, how customers are lost and retained, ways to demonstrate good customer service, verbal and non-verbal communication, telephone skills, dealing with unhappy customers and creating an "action plan" to provide good customer service.

The chamber is offering the training free to two participants per chamber member business. Chamber members who want to send more than two participants will pay a per-session fee for each additional participant. Non-chamber members may attend but will be charged a higher per-session fee.

A minimum of 15 participants is needed to conduct the training, and a maximum of 40 can be accommodated. To register, or for more information, contact the chamber office at 546-1557 or e-mail

Chamber directors also learned that the annual chamber awards dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at the Robinson Community Center.

Administrator Mary Kindt reported that the chamber's Angel Tree program provided Christmas gifts for more than 50 children this year, with the Next Chapter bookstore playing host to the tree and handling the gifts and delivery. She also said Santa logged 38 hours at Kringle Korner this holiday season; extra flyers posted around town with hours helped boost attendance, she said.

Greg Bilbrey, community development vice-president, said that he would be attending meetings in Marshall Jan. 18 and Feb. 15 on how communities should respond to "superstores" such as Wal-Mart.

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