Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last night, the Chico City Council discussed the need for a sit/lie ordinance in Chico.  Each and every Council member, whether or not they agreed with the ordinance, recognized the need to support local businesses and our business climate.  Read the results of their discussion and decision here.

We're moving full steam ahead with our Clean & Safe Chico Community Forum on Wednesday, May 29th, at 6:30p.m. at the El Rey Theatre.  You'll hear about the programs now in place to help address community-wide concerns and you'll have the opportunity to rally support for your solutions.  We have 600 seats to fill and we need to pack the house to make sure our voices are heard.  No RSVPs, no fees.  See you there!

The results of our recent Shopper Survey are in and -- round of applause -- we're pleased to report that nearly 1,500 people weighed in.  We'll be releasing the data shortly but here's a sneak peek.  We asked: What do you think are the major advantages of shopping or doing personal errands in Chico?  Nearly 70% of the respondents answered "Supporting Local Businesses."  Now that's the spirit!

On that note, did you know that $.68 of every dollar spent at a locally-owned business and $.43 of every dollar spent at a business within the city limits returns to the community (source: Local First/Collaborative Economics)?  We're working on a "Choose Chico" campaign to help build awareness around the power of patronizing businesses in Chico which dovetails back into our Clean & Safe work perfectly.  If we want to see changes within our community, we need to continue to strengthen the partnership with our City Council, do our part in supporting local initiatives, and choose Chico when shopping.

Tomorrow morning, we're hosting a Membership Orientation & Refresher at 8:30a.m. in the Chamber office (441 Main, 2nd floor).  If you're a member or interested in membership, this is the place for you.  Make the most of what we do for you.

Next week, on May 30th, Council member Tami Ritter will be our Lunch Hour guest from noon to 1p.m..  And, to give you a better understanding of the City of Chico's fiscal outlook and priorities, we're co-hosting a City of Chico Budget 101 session with the City of Chico, DCBA, and Chico Stewardship Network, on Friday, June 7th, from noon - 1:30p.m. at the Chamber office. Speakers include Brian Nakamura, Mark Orme, and Chris Constantin, the new Administrative Services Director.  Listen, learn, and ask your questions; we want City staff to hear from you.  RSVP to me:

At the Festival for Change two weeks ago, Chico State students were encouraged to share what they'd like to "save." Comments included rivers, creeks, the ocean, our land, etc.  My second grader sized up the task, grabbed a pen, and wrote, "save the businesses."  I heard the same sentiments from the City Council last night.  I think we're doing something right.  Let's keep up the good work.

~ Katie

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In light of the fact that the civil streets ordinance discussion was tabled at last night's City Council meeting, let's focus on what IS happening right now in our community:

The Goodwill Ambassador program is officially up and running with 20+ business owners, advocates, and citizens now serving as volunteers.  Shifts run from 11a.m.-2p.m. and 5p.m.-7p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of every week, providing merchants, shoppers, visitors, and all downtown patrons with information, hospitality, and assistance.  Chico Stewardship
 Network, the group spearheading the program, believes that the answers to our community problems rely largely on citizens.  Without a visible police presence in downtown Chico, this group 
will serve as the eyes and ears of the community, reporting issues and challenges as they arise.    To become a Goodwill Ambassador, contact Michelle Anderson-Curran.

The Chico Street Pastors program (above), an initiative of Neighborhood Church and the Jesus Center, will provide the community with a different kind of support.  Focusing on south campus neighborhoods and downtown Chico, volunteers will move through the streets between the hours of 10p.m. and 4a.m., providing assistance and light services to improve the safety and well-being of the hundreds of citizens who are out and about during late-night hours.  To volunteer, please contact Bill Such.

Speaking of community-driven change, SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere), invite you to the Community Festival for Change this Friday, May 10th from 4-8p.m. in the City Plaza. This event will serve as a continuation of the CSUC Community Call for Action and Campus Commitment to Action Summit hosted by California State University, Chico.  The Festival will feature music, food trucks, community tables, guest speakers, and a ceremony to remember the campus-changing events of this year.  In the words of SAVE, this event will "signify closing a chapter and moving forward with the positive momentum and change that is coming!"

If you're inspired by the work being done by businesses, organizations, students, and citizens and you want to learn more, mark your calendar for the Clean & Safe Community Forum on Wednesday, May 29th, at 6:30pm at the El Rey.  No RSVPs, no fees, just a good, solid opportunity to get involved.

Let's get it done.

~ Katie