Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It comes as no surprise, I'm sure, to hear that as the voice of business we juggle between 30-50 issues a day, including everything from general business climate concerns like the local permitting process to challenges caused by the state regulatory environment.

At our meeting with Assemblyman Dan Logue last month, it was clear we agree on the fact that many challenges originate with our state agencies, but we wanted to know: how and where does a local Chamber press for the right solutions? Oftentimes, advocacy generates more questions than answers which is why we're expanding our efforts to address as many issues as possible with as many members as possible, as I mentioned in my article last month.

You may have heard me say that advocacy doesn't end with a letter of opinion; it ends when an issue is resolved. To get there, we need to be part of the solution and we need to maintain strong relationships. We rely on the legislative analysts at CalChamber to parse through hundreds of bills and to formulate recommendations on behalf of businesses in the state. We rely on our City Council to hear the concerns of the local business community and to make proactive decisions on our behalf. We rely on our City administration to keep the lines of communication open between city staff and the private sector so that processes can be made more efficient. We rely on our Board and our Legislative Action committee to tackle even the trickiest of issues so we know where to apply pressure and where to send resources. And we rely on our members to use the amazing capabilities of this organization, led by their peers, to enact great change.

I'm ready to spend my time and energy picking solutions rather than battles. If you have a solution you're ready to take on, please give me a call. Or, if you are experiencing a challenge and need the support of your peers, share your thoughts here.

Switching gears, I'd like to welcome Emma Jessee to the Chamber staff. She comes to us with years of marketing and creative experience that we're plugging in to our social media channels and elsewhere. With deep family roots in the Chico area, Emma is thrilled to join an organization with nearly 100 years of community-building under its belt. Please stop by and say hello to Emma, or welcome her at emma@chicochamber.com.