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Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce Gets By With A Little Help From Its Friends

Submitted for Money Monday

by Robin Galvan-Davies

We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: When John Lennon and Paul McCartney sat down in the 1960s and wrote “With a Little Help from My Friends,” they were indirectly creating a motto for the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce. I never tire of repeating that without our friends, it would be difficult for the office and Visitor Information Center to run as smoothly and professionally as it does. So, as we approach Christmas and the beginning of a new year, we would like to acknowledge some special people and businesses.

High on our list of friends are the twenty Friends of the Chamber –– businesses that have stepped up to the plate and provided the Chamber with funding well beyond their yearly dues:  Atria Senior Living, Bank of the West, Beam “Easy Living” Center, Cirinos at Main Street, Farmers Insurance- Ed Mertens, Gold Miners Holiday Inn Express, Grande Wood Designs, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, Intero Real Estate, Interim HealthCare, Jennco Web Works, Network Real Estate, Nevada County Gold Magazine, Plaza Tire & Auto Service, Sierra Foothills Construction, Sierra Nevada Destination Services, Sierra Theatres, State Farm- Mike Bratton and The Union Newspaper.  Their support –– and the support of the City of Grass Valley –– has been critical in allowing us to improve our internal operations to meet our ever-growing membership.

Photograph Courtesy of Winding Road Imagery

Photograph Courtesy of Winding Road Imagery: Happy New Year! from the Friends of the Chamber

The Visitor Information Center has proven to be a key component of our goal to assist tourists and locals alike.  Our VIC stakeholders include Sierra Vintners, Nevada County Contractors Association, Dignity Health/Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, NCArts Council, Center for the Arts, Music in the Mountains, InConcert Sierra, NCTV, and the Empire Mine Park Association.

The Chamber always welcomes funding friends, so when Homes by Towne was seeking a location for their Ridge Meadows showroom, we offered them the administrative side of the VIC. They moved in this July and have proven to be wonderful neighbors. Do stop in and meet Alexandra and Ed and view the 37 home neighborhood that’s “coming soon.”

It might surprise you to learn that the GGVCC has only two paid employees, and the rest of the work is accomplished by volunteers: a hardworking board of directors and the Ambassador Committee; community leaders who help shape our yearly priorities and assist in planning special events.  They are the invisible volunteers who work behind the scenes on behalf of all members.

This year we revised our bylaws and reduced the board seats from 15 to 11, a ratio of approximately 1 seat per 50 members. We welcome the 2017 board of directors, Chair, Susan Rice, Past-Chair, Machen MacDonald, Treasurer, Robin Hauck and Member at-Large Bob Medlyn, Mick Collins, Kristin Glauner, Marty Lombardi, Greg Ward and newly elected board members Joy Porter, Suzanne Voter and reelected incumbent, Rich Fuxjager.

The Chamber Board invites you to Give Yourself the Gift of Membership

Photograph Courtesy of Winding Road Imagery: The Chamber Board invites you to Give Yourself the Gift of Membership

As we near the end of the year, a review of our daily telephone log shows that the office receives approximately 35 calls a day, as well as several daily mail and email inquiries.  We respond to all those inquiries –– and greet the 30 or so people who drop by the Visitor Information Center each day in search of information or directions.

It’s interesting to note that nearly a third of all phone calls we receive are from local residents –– many of them looking for business referrals.  We are always happy to refer people to our members, and this year we have referred several hundred visitors and locals to businesses that meet their specific needs.

There are many reasons to join the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, and business referrals are just an example.  Perhaps that is one reason why our membership has grown 20% this year and now exceeds 550.

Another reason to join the GGVCC is our annual Membership Directory & Resource Guide publication that showcases the assets of our members and the community; Grass Valley and western Nevada County.  This year the chamber took on the role of publisher and produced Post Cards from Grass Valley. It will be available yearlong at the GGVCC & Visitors Center and throughout the community.

This brief mention in The Union is our way of thanking all of our members and volunteers –– our good friends –– but there’s also a way for you to thank them.  Shop local.

We realize that “Shop Local” is a slogan repeated every year during the holiday season, but we never tire of repeating it.  It may be easier to sit at home and purchase presents with the click of a mouse, but when all is said and done, shopping local will bring you greater satisfaction and in the process will support our local merchants and businesses.

With that said, our board, staff, volunteers and I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a most prosperous and rewarding New Year.

About Robin Davies

Robin Davies
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