Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Much Noise

Haven't blogged in a while. It's not that I don't have a lot to say and those of you that know me know that's oh-so-true. I guess I've just been busy with 'stuff'. We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of R.W. Knudsen Family in June. It was a great event, and we're already looking forward to celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Madison Bear Garden next June. That'll be AWESOME!

The Chamber Education Committee has created a plan to showcase businesses at the City Council Meetings once a month. We've been working with Mayor Schwab to get that organized and calendared. I feel good about the prospect of highlighting the significant contribution these businesses make in our economic landscape. You know what I always say...'Everything you see is the result of a successful business'.

The Education Committee also continues to plan for a Fall business symposium with a panel of experts on capital access, human resources, marketing, legal issues and sustainability. Chamber business leaders will have an opportunity to ask questions as well as brainstorm with other business leaders on the great ideas that have helped them survive these turbulent times. Watch for details of this October 13 event.

A few weeks ago the Chamber Board of Directors presented the City Council Economic Development sub-committee with a list of 10 ideas to help stimulate some economic development locally. The list is available on our website if you're interested in seeing it. The sub-committee directed staff to review the list and reach out to various organizations to discern those ideas that can be implemented effectively. Some are as simple as placing signage on I-5 and Hwy. 70 to urge folks to pull-over for a stop in Chico (and hopefully spend some money). Another more complex idea is to work on a plan to create a community center/sports facility/convention venue in Chico. These ideas will take a lot of cooperative work, but hey, we've got to start somewhere!

Of course, we continue to track the various and sundry bills working their way through the legislature. Funny...it seems to me that considering the bloody mess we're in with regard to our State budget, the legislature would be working on fixing that problem and creating more jobs for the hundreds of thousands Californians that have been out of work for more than 12 months, but noooooo...they're writing bills instead. Some of them are just nutty and will do nothing but make it tougher for California businesses to grow. The Chamber has and will continue to fight these job-killer bills on behalf of our members. We do it so you don't have to.

The Rotary Club I belong to participated in an interesting exercise with about 150 members at lunch today. It drove home the point about the importance of organizations like Rotary as well as the Chamber of Commerce. It went something like this...

The speaker asked us all to shout out our first and last names. On the count of three we shouted. It was just a bunch of noise. We were then instructed to shout out "The Rotary Foundation". On the count of three, a unified chorus rattled the building with a clear and discernible message. It was clear what we said and even clearer that we meant it!

The Chamber of Commerce is that clear and discernible voice for business. Without the unity of one loud voice, legislators can tune us out as just too much noise. We can't let that happen. Even though we might not be in the same room at the same time shouting on the count of three, The Chamber of Commerce IS the unified voice of business and when we speak people are listening. It's clear what we're saying and it's clear that we mean it.

Time to ask yourself...who's speaking for YOUR business?