What's in a name? Just ask the members of the chamber of commerce in Clearfield, who aren't happy about the new name chosen by their counterparts in neighboring Layton.
The Layton Area Chamber of Commerce announced last month it had changed its name to the Layton North Davis Area Chamber of Commerce.The switch, revealed in the chamber's newsletter, was made to reflect the "tremendous growth" in the Layton area.
The move made the Greater North Davis Chamber of Commerce in Clearfield tremendously unhappy.
The change is confusing, unethical and aimed at pushing out the little guys, said Mark Livingston, Greater North Davis chamber president.
"Any time you have the same name," Livingston said, "there's going to be a problem. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that."
Livingston said members from both chambers will be confused whenever they receive mail or bills because of the similar names. And business owners coming into the area won't know which chamber to choose.
"Not one single person on this end thinks it's at all ethical," Livingston said. "At least consider their neighbors, for heaven's sake."
Lisa Garbett, director of the Layton North Davis Area Chamber, begs to differ.
The Layton chamber had secured legal rights to its new name years ago, before the Clearfield chamber changed to its current name, she said.
Garbett believes everyone can distinguish between the two chambers because the name does retain the word "Layton." And Layton's chamber is supported mostly by retail businesses, while the Clearfield chamber caters to industrial businesses.
"It's not premeditated; it's not vindictive," Garbett said. "We're not doing this to be nasty."
Regardless, Livingston fears the Layton chamber will take over the area and eclipse Clearfield's chamber. Layton's chamber has 285 members; Clearfield's 125.
"It's like the big guy beating up the little guy," Livingston said. "It really defeats everything we've got."
Livingston and other members in both chambers, such as Layton Mayor Jerry Stevenson, would like to see the two chambers consolidate.
One reason is geography: The Clearfield chamber covers cities from Kaysville to Clinton (including Layton), many of which have never had a chamber of commerce. Layton's covers the same areas, including Clearfield, and extends to Ogden, Bountiful and Salt Lake City.
A proposal in 1992 to combine the Layton, Clearfield and Kaysville chambers was rejected by Clearfield and Kaysville. Soon after, the Clearfield chamber took the North Davis name, which had been proposed for the new, consolidated chamber.