- By: Bruce Batti, Fresno Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman and President of JSA
As the Chairman of your Chamber of Commerce, it is my job to focus on our Chamber’s mission to promote business and enhance the economic and cultural well-being of Fresno County residents. But truth be told, some days it is downright difficult to fight the good fight – and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Seriously, how many days have you left your house with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, ready to take on the day, only to have that enthusiasm drained because of a series of conversations concerning today’s business climate. Sales are declining, gas is too expensive, too many regulations, healthcare costs are rising, businesses have to do more with less – well, you get the picture. And by the end of the day, your spouse is hiding the children, the dog and all sharp objects because they can see that you’ve had “that” kind of day. (At least that’s how it works in my house.)
So finally, I decided I had enough. Now, when confronted with business tales of disheartenment and despair, I try to steer the conversation into the glass half-full mode. And in reality, there are many things to be thankful for, even in this current state of affairs.
We have a mayor who “gets it” and is not only working hard to make us a fiscally sound city, but even in these financially strapped times, is making sure that we put in place a growth plan that will help ensure our future.
We have a community of talented and innovative business leaders who work hard each day to create a sustainable economic engine to propel our region forward.
We have a varied and engaged group of Community Based Organizations who make sure that the well-being of all our citizens are attended to in a caring and heartfelt manner, and ensure that those that are truly less fortunate don’t get left behind.
We have educators at every level who are passionate and driven to give our students every opportunity to contribute to our community.
We have a strong, faith-based community that is helping to bridge the gap at a time when state and federal monies continue to diminish.
And just so you know, we have a Chamber stocked with dedicated and caring business leaders who are working hard on behalf of our 1700 members. We’re creating relationships between businesses – helping businesses to not only survive, but to grow in these trying times – and ensuring that our aggregate voice is heard with our elected officials inFresno, inSacramentoand inWashington.
The moral of this story is that positive dialogue is contagious and good for business. Consumer confidence is built on that emotion, that is, consumers feeling positive enough to buy more goods and services. At the very least, taking the glass half-full approach creates a much better environment for the spouse, the kids and the family pets. Plus, isn’t life really better with all the sharp objects readily accessible?