Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chamber Values Part Duex

My last post referred to the Chico Chamber of Commerce Planning Session where the Board of Directors discerned the Top 3 Things We Value. I promised to elaborate on these things but have been neglecting my blog again. Thank goodness for my friend Valerie Reddemann, President of Greenfeet.com, who continues to urge me to get-off-the-dime and blog!

The Chamber values being the respected voice of business in the community. Representing the needs of business locally is at the core of our existence and it is something we will always take very seriously. Sure, we love ribbon cuttings, mixers and promoting the various businesses that do business in Chico, but we will always point back to our undergirdings of advocacy as the real reason we're here.

Think about it...who is speaking for your business? Probably lots of folks. Your loyal customers and fans. Your advertising agency. Your mother-in-law. They are all out there giving you a shout-out whenever they have the chance, talking up your products and service as the best in town.

But who's representing you with decision makers? Who's representing you at City Council meetings late into the evening. Who's writing letters to Assemblyman, Senators and the Governor reminding them that business drives the economy?

The Chamber of Commerce does that.

I think it's important for lawmakers to be reminded often how important business is to the community. In fact, one could argue that without business, there IS no community. That's a message that can't be repeated too often.

Take a look around. Everything you see is the result of a successful business. Take a mental trip with me around town and I'll explain.

Every building, every road, every street lamp, every school, every piece of public art, even every park, is the result of successful business. In the case of most of the buildings you encounter, they were built with private investment, usually by a business. Even private homes were originally built by a developer who stuck their neck out, bought the materials, built the house, and sold it to a homebuyer. Sure, they made money doing that but that's why they take the risk in the first place.

In the case of public buildings, infrastructure and parks, those too are the result of successful private businesses paying taxes and hiring employees who also pay taxes. Without the tax dollars made possible by successful businesses, the maintenance of our public holdings is impossible, as is hiring public employees to do that work and in turn pay taxes on their own income.

It's all too easy for government leaders to forget that government doesn't create the wealth that turns our economy. They simply collect it and spend it. If you take successful business out of the equation, there is no more money to spend. No more roads, no more public art, no more schools...well, you get the idea.

The Chamber of Commerce will always be there reminding decision-makers of this basic concept. Successful business is what makes everything else possible, so let's make it possible for business to be successful.

We value the opportunity to perform the critical function of being the respected voice of business in the community, and we welcome your partnership as we execute the mission.