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  • Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley

  • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is a champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley. Here are some ways we have been a champion during the 2019-2020 fiscal year:

    • The Chamber's Ambassador Committee donated 37 veggie boxes from Talley Farms Fresh Harvest and Blosser Urban Garden to front line night shift security and housekeeping staff at Marian Regional Medical Center.
       
    • The Chamber worked with Allan Hancock College and other community leaders to launch the “Protect & Respect” PR campaign to encourage community members to wear a mask.
       
    • Worked with regional partners and sent out a survey to local businesses about the pandemic and its effect on business to get a local and regional look at the economic impact.
       
    • Collaborated with neighboring Chambers to compile a thorough resource list of PPE sources for businesses
       
    • Transitioned our “takeout and delivery dining options” online guide to include information on restaurants who are now opening for dine-in service
       
    • The Visitors Bureau remains involved in conversations around major community events. The Visitors Bureau continues to attend committee meetings for Central Coast Airfest and Farm Day.
       
    • The Chamber is preparing to reopen the office to the public and has created their reopening plan and made the necessary health & safety modifications to open the office in accordance with county regulations.
       
    • The Chamber is partnering with the City of Santa Maria on an economic recovery plan and will be the lead agency in its implementation. Program will include marketing support for local business re-openings, community confidence outreach, and assistance for businesses that need specific support in re-imagining their operations or business plan.
       
    • Chamber is providing regular updates on the recovery plan at City Council meetings and in other public forums to ensure the community is aware of the support and resources available.
       
    • The Chamber continues to assist businesses with economic recovery, and this past month referred 15 businesses to SBA resources and 7 to SCORE resources.
       
    • Our Economic Development Commission spoke with 63 businesses regarding COVID and other business related items
    • Worked to encourage Santa Barbara County to launch a "Reopening Plan" task force to prepare for an eventual lifting of stay-at-home orders and a reopening of the local economy. The Chamber was an active participant in a similar effort led by SLO County and worked to get a Santa Barbara County effort started. We also worked to ensure that multiple North County/Santa Maria business leaders were invited to participate on the Task Force
       
    • The Santa Maria Chamber joined with Chambers across state to advocate against opportunistic legislation sought by various interest groups that would have significantly burdened businesses. Examples include proposed new value-added taxes, an employee head-count tax, and a long list of labor proposals which would have dramatically increased costs and compliance requirements on business.
       
    • Santa Maria Chamber CEO Glenn Morris presented an update to the City Council on business support activity.
       
    • Chamber staff continues to make outreach calls to member businesses and organizations to check the status of their business and see what support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
       
    • The Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau shifted messaging to "Stay Connected With SMV" on social medial campaigns and e-newsletters as well as launched the "See a Sip, Take a Sip" campaign. They introduced our snowy plover friend, Pat, on twitter to encourage a fun light hearted way for our followers to stay engaged with us.
       
    • The Chamber and EDC are continuing to facilitate projects in the City, including downtown housing, business construction, and long-term planning.
       
    • The Chamber and Visitors Bureau worked with City to defer TOT payments in support of local hotels.
       
    • The Chamber has begun transitioning its networking events to online formats. This includes the weekly BYB networking event, Ambassador meetings, and events put on by the Santa Maria Connect Young Professionals group.
       
    • Visit CA picked up a story the Santa Maria Valley Visitors Bureau did on Susie Q Seasoning. The Visitors Bureau is also working with Good Day LA (filming on 4/17) to promote Santa Maria Style Barbecue. The segment, originally a live broadcast, will air at a later date.
       
    • Leaders from the Chamber’s Economic Development Commission and Business/Government Roundtable met with staff to begin planning the Chamber’s involvement in the upcoming City of Santa Maria General Plan Update.
       
    • Chamber CEO Glenn Morris joined business leaders from across the state for a meeting of the CalChamber Board of Directors.  Presentations focused on the state of California’s economy and public opinion updates on issues facing the state and it’s businesses.
       
    • The Chamber’s tourism team recently attended FestForum in Santa Barbara and IAEE’s ExpoExpo in Las Vegas. The team took the opportunity to learn about the festival, meeting and exposition industries and how Santa Maria Valley can position itself as an ideal location for large city-wide events.
       
    • The Chamber met with local developers and the City to discuss ways to fund and advance the City’s General Plan Update.
       
    • The Chamber’s SM Connect Young Professionals group hosted a meeting focused on leading with change, where attendees learned techniques for dealing with change and other leadership skills.
       
    • The Energy Watch Partnership (administered by the Chamber) hosted an informational meeting with public utilities and school facility representatives to explore ways to advance energy efficiency efforts at school facilities in Northern Santa Barbara County.
       
    • The Chamber continues to attend Santa Maria Open Streets meetings and participate in dialogue on how to get community leaders  and businesses involved in the 2nd annual event.
       
    • The Chamber joined with business leaders and the community to celebrate the 2nd annual Central Coast AirFest on October 11-13.  The Chamber was a sponsor of the event again this year, which drew thousands of locals and people from out of town to enjoy the event in Santa Maria.
       
    • The Chamber attended United Way’s Mayor’s Ball on October 12.  In addition to being a sponsor, several members of the Chamber staff were actively involved in planning and executing the event to support United Way’s efforts to address adult literacy and homelessness in our community.
       
    • The Chamber had a booth at Allan Hancock College’s 15th Annual Career Exploration Day, where they surveyed high school students about their career goals and job interests.