WHAT doe the Chamber Do?
Submitted to the Union Newspaper
May 21, 2018, by Robin Davies

Some of you may ask what does the Chamber do?

Having been active in the community since the late 1800’s, first as a Board of Trade, then incorporated as the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce in February of 1910, we often forget that not everyone understands what a chamber of commerce does or why it’s important to the community.

Our Chamber’s MISSION is to serve our members by facilitating business development, promoting tourism and visitor direction and presenting information that supports responsible business growth in our community, and this mission sets the mandate for our Annual Program of Work. And we’re busy!

The first few months of 2018 have been very active for the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, with action initiatives focusing on the goals set for the 2018 Program of Work. The Board of Directors numbers 12 this year, and all are active participants in the Chamber’s Committees, each Committee’s mission or mandate integral to achieving the objectives set in the Program of Work.

Ambassador Committee: Mick Collins, Chair 

The Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce much like any other chambers relies on volunteers.  We call our volunteers Ambassadors.   Ambassadors represent, promote, and advocate a particular entity.  Our Ambassadors do that and much more.  They are tasked with planning, scheduling, attending and providing support at Chamber functions. This year, they have tirelessly organized Ribbon Cuttings, Joint Chambers Business Mixers, Town Halls, Business Seminars, and other Chamber related functions that provide value to our membership and the business community as a whole.

Throughout the years, our Ambassador Committee has been a vibrant, can-do group of individuals who come together to get a job done, and our current Ambassadors should be in a volunteer Hall of Fame.  They volunteer their time and effort; and also, become the “face” of the Chamber, while putting our members and the organization ahead of personal interests.  They are the folks thanking you for being members, and if you’re not, inviting you to discover why you should.  If you see anything Chamber related, you can bet that there are Ambassadors behind it, and most certainly out in front of it.

I invite you to join us at the next Joint Chamber Mixer at the Empire Mine on Thursday, June 28th. Come, meet our Ambassadors, members of both Chamber Boards, and our hosts, the wonderful folks who work every day of the year to keep the Empire Mine history alive.

Community Affairs Committee: Jon Katis, Chair

The Community Affairs Committee of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce was formed to examine issues that most affect our community. The Committee has been meeting on the third Wednesday of the month at noon in the Library of Atria Senior Living. At our January meeting the following list of topics was discussed and prioritized:

  • Housing costs and availability
  • New or expanding businesses that will create jobs in Nevada County
  • High-speed Internet
  • Cannabis impact on business, law enforcement, etc.
  • The lowering enrollment in our schools
  • Lack of a skilled labor force

At subsequent meetings, we have primarily focused on the housing issue. Craig Griesbach with the Nevada County Building Department joined us in March to discuss the mitigation fees, Additional Dwelling Units, and related topics. This month we met with Tyler Barrington, a Senior Planner with Nevada County who was brilliant. In fact. He shared so much valuable information that we invited him back next month, June 20th and he’s agreed.

Future meetings will remain on the third Wednesday at 4:30 in the afternoon and will be held at the Chamber in Grass Valley’s Living-room. The next scheduled invitee from the County will be the Director of Environmental Health, Amy Irani. One of the main drawbacks for people considering an additional Dwelling Unit is adding a septic system. That is Amy’s area of expertise.

If you have a passion for housing and jobs, I invite you to attend the Community Affairs Committee- this is where you should be!

Business Development Committee: Machen MacDonald, Chair

The BizDev committee of the GGVCC is up to great things.  The committee’s mission is to bring added value to chamber members by helping them to more fully develop their business.  During the first and second quarter, the committee has focused on showing members how to leverage their online and social media marketing efforts.  Stephanie Leishman of Apiarity has generously been offing complimentary initial sessions to any members interested in learning more how to optimize their social media marketing efforts. The program is called Social Media Office Hours. Not only do our members learn strategy and business building hacks they get online business exposure through video of their session with Stephanie if they desire. Call the chamber and schedule some time with Stephanie.

Another powerful business building benefit of chamber membership is 15 minutes with Jon Katis on KNCO News Talk Radio. Jon does great interviews with chamber members highlighting their business by discussing current offerings and services they are looking to promote. Call the chamber to schedule your radio interview with Jon.

Check the chamber’s website for upcoming business-building workshops and education to help you grow your business. Need some business coaching to help you more fully develop your business? Call the chamber. Business Development committee chairperson and business coach Machen MacDonald is willing to provide new members with complimentary 90-minute strategic planning sessions.

The chamber is dedicated to helping you take your business to the next level. Don’t starve at the barbecue. Call the chamber today and let us assess how we can help you grow your business.

Marketing & Promotions Committee: Joy Porter, Chair

Our team is passionate about networking and connecting not only our guests but our members to one another for products and services on a daily basis.  As guests arrive at our Visitor Center (over 10,000 walk-ins each year), we are committed to serving them but also you.  It is our pleasure to refer and recommend our members businesses with hundreds of referrals to Chamber businesses and organization made monthly. Thank You (Members) for Being Fabulous!

One of the showcases that we’ve developed for our membership is our Membership Directory – now re-branded as a beautiful magazine known as Destination – Nevada County. A physical readership that is growing every year and a strong online presence gives our members additional exposure

We serve our members by facilitating business development, promoting tourism and visitor direction and presenting information that supports responsible business growth in our community.

The Greater Grass Valley Chamber is located at 128 East Main Street in Grass Valley.