Our Report Card

  • By: Chamber President & CEO, Al Smith

When you put together the largest business trade organization in the Central Valley, as expected, you bring to the table a variety of opinions, desires and expectations.

Thus is the ever ending challenge of designing the Greater Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s plan of work to embrace the myriad of objectives held by a diverse membership body that exceeds 1,400.

The Fresno Chamber enjoys the support of businesses from every walk of life. There are businesses with employees that number in the thousands and there are one and two person shops.  But they all have one thing in common – they each help shape a program that lends itself to ensuring job creators in our community – businesses – remains healthy, vibrant and profitable.

So, with that in mind, every so often we like to take a snapshot of how we are doing. 

In a survey conducted recently, we asked our members to point out those areas which are most important to them, and then have them give us a grade on how we are meeting those issues.  

The core expectations have not changed from year to year, but rankings occasionally do.  Based on the most recent survey, the ranking of the top ten reasons our members belong are:

  1. Business exposure
  2. Connections with other businesses
  3. The desire to make a difference in the future of their city
  4. A feeling of civic responsibility
  5. Business credibility attributable to their membership
  6. The desire to have someone to advocate for them with government
  7. Enjoyment of working on Chamber committees which address their professional and civic goals
  8. Exposure to business opportunities with others that are unique to the Chamber
  9. Enjoyment of benefits and services which banding together allows
  10. Assistance in educational opportunities for their business, afforded by the Chamber

Other details found by the survey include the fact that almost two-thirds of respondents felt they received value equal to their investment, with 9% saying they got twice as much in return for what they paid.  To us, that’s great news.  However, the other third that have continued their membership say they were not getting the level of value they expected.  That is a concern. We either have a program of work problem or a communications problem. 

Believe me when I say we are working hard to address both.

If was nice to note that over 80% felt the Chamber had great relevance to their business.  Almost all members wanted us to continue to work toward creating a strong economy; make efforts to enhance our community; continue to represent business interests; help elect business friendly candidates to office; work at passing business related ballot initiatives; be involved in job creation while retaining or growing existing jobs; keep our member informed about issues and problems; help build business relationships and promote our community.

Your board of directors examined all of these elements at the annual planning conference last month and will continue to monitor these goals. 

Your feedback on any or all of these issues is a welcomed and helpful exercise.  At any time, feel free to call me with a question – a concern – a problem.  It is only when we know it exists can we address it. And that is what we are here for.  The phone number is 559 495-4816 or alsmith@fresnochamber.com

May the year, 2013 be a phenomenal one for each of us.

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