Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 Summer Review & Fall Preview

After a whirlwind couple of months, it's time to pause and take stock.  I'll share our latest and greatest news, and then I'd like to hear from you.....

Have you taken our recent survey?

The City of Chico and the Chamber want to know if you find the City permitting process straightforward, timely, and friendly.  We also want to know which regulations you find the most burdensome and if your internet access is adequate.  Why?  Because we're working closely with the City and other agencies to improve the business climate on local and state levels.  Comment now.

And stay tuned because in September we'll launch a comprehensive membership survey asking for your feedback on our programs, events, publications, and activities -- all with the intention of better serving our members and the business community.  We're listening....

In the Fall:

We're planning a Membership Orientation on October 11th for new, existing, and prospective members who want to jump-start their membership.  This is the perfect opportunity to ask, "What can I expect from membership?" and "How can I get more involved?"  Come meet the dynamic folks who make up our Staff, Board of Directors, Ambassador program, and Young Professionals Organization for a Q&A on getting the most out of your membership

We're also busily preparing for election season with a forum for City Council candidates.  Keep an eye out for a "Save the Date" notice within the next two weeks.  And, if you haven't read our Q&A with Doug LaMalfa and Jim Reed, candidates for the 1st Congressional District seat, pick up a copy of our latest Business Voice Quarterly.

Here's an excerpt --

We asked:
"Our business community identified burdensome regulations as one of the top four issues negatively impacting their growth and ability to hire.  How do you plan to address this issue to help create jobs in our region?"

Jim Reed Responded:
"In general I believe small businesses are over regulated and big businesses are under regulated. This is a direct result of the big business influence in Washington. As a small businessman myself, I see much of my employee costs are related to compliance work rather than production.  One of my priorities is simplifying the Internal Revenue Code and doing so will greatly reduce time small businesses spend on tax reporting."

Doug LaMalfa Responded:
"From the bills I carry to the constituent services my office provides I always work to repeal and reduce regulations and help people who have been harmed by regulators.  I believe that as your representative I should help get government out of the way of the private sector and those that produce.  I have authored bills to protect local businesses from ADA lawsuits, reformed overly burdensome timber harvest permits, fought unreasonable meal and rest period restrictions and CARB rules.  Government at the State and Federal level have grown out of control over the last two decades and their regulators and enforcers create burdens on our local economy that we cannot afford.  I will continue my fight against these regulations on every level."

What else have we been up to?

Well, we moved! We are now operating from the Old Municipal Building (441 Main Street, Suite 150) across from City Plaza in downtown Chico.  We're planning an Open House event for Thursday, September 20th, from 5:30pm - 7:30pm, in our new location and the public is invited.  In the meantime, stop by our Visitor Center and be sure to recommend our services to family and friends who roll into town.  Our friendly staff can answer almost any question asked.

We're also participating in Annie B's Community Drive for the very first time!  Spearheaded by North Valley Community Foundation, Annie B's encourages charitable giving to local non-profits during the months of August and September.  We're raising scholarship funds through the Chico Chamber Community Corporation to support high school and college students in business-related endeavors.  Pledge today.

Take a look at our calendar of events for more ideas and activities.  Our schedule is packed with networking events, ribbon cuttings, open houses, committee and Ambassador meetings, and Young Professional events.

Looking ahead to 2013:

Next year seems like a long way off - especially while we're baking in this summer heat - but it's just around the corner and we have big plans.  In January, we'll host our 2nd Annual Business Summit & State of the City Address.  If you attended our 2012 Summit, you know we're looking for lively discussion to help set our advocacy agenda for the year.  We'll also host our 75th (yes, 75th) Annual Dinner & Awards Ceremony at Sierra Nevada Brewery on January 17th, Power Lunches in early 2013, and an Educational Conference in April. It's going to be another year full of opportunity for our members.

And now I'd like to hear from YOU!

~ Katie Simmons
President & CEO

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