•  
  • Working Hard on Your Behalf

  • The Chamber's mission is to be a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley. Here's how we've been working hard on your behalf to serve our local community and fulfill our organization's mission.
     
  • January 2022 January 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Economic Development Commission assisted 7 potential small businesses, with permitting, business licenses, business set up, contractors board info, seller’s permit, SBA loan assistance, and other items.
    • The Chamber launched its “Support Local & Win Big!” campaign to encourage community members to support local businesses and nonprofits this holiday season. Participants enter by taking selfies at local businesses and submitting receipts for a chance to win $3,000 in cash prizes.
    • The Chamber published the Winter Issue of their “Business, #SantaMariaStyle” quarterly digital magazine. This issue also included the updated Santa Maria Valley Visitors Guide.
    • The Chamber highlighted the Santa Maria Town Center in their "Local Business Spotlight" series, done in partnership with the Santa Maria Times
    • The Chamber recognized Mob Armor and The VegBoss as their December featured businesses. The program is done in partnership with the City of Santa Maria to highlight local manufacturing and women-owned businesses in the community.


    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber continues to hold their weekly “Build Your Business” breakfast meetings, an opportunity for local businesses to network and provide leads and testimonials.
    • The Economic Development Commission spoke at Leadership Santa Maria Valley’s Topic Day.
    • The Chamber celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Freedom Monument Veteran’s Memorial with an event honoring the fallen Veterans in our community.
    • The Chamber held another virtual session of their FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Forum Series for local high school students on “The Future of Santa Barbara County: Up and Coming Job Opportunities”.
    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley had their last topic day, a tour of Vandenberg Space Force Base. Leadership Santa Maria Valley held their 2021 class graduation on December 10th.


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Chamber held a number of ribbon cuttings celebrating new Chamber member businesses.
    • The Economic Development Commission continues to work with the City on follow-up and discussions regarding Downtown Revitalization project.
    • The Economic Development Commission connected with a local broker regarding potential tenants and assistance.
    • The Visitors Bureau launched the new tourism site
    • The Chamber’s Fall Session of the Junior CEO program held their business launch day, where participants opened their businesses to the public at the Town Center Mall. The program wrapped up with a graduation and celebration event, where awards were presented to those who completed the program.
    • The Visitors Bureau partnered with Glocally to provide 6 gift baskets to influencers as a kick off to the upcoming Restaurant Month and Craft Cocktail Campaign, which will launch mid-January.
    • Four local high school students excelling in the Agriculture career pathway were recognized as part of the Chamber’s “Santa Maria Valley Next” program.
    • The Economic Development Commission continues to support the Airport in its pursuit of expanded air service.

    February 2022 February 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Chamber partnered with the city in recognizing their January Featured Businesses, Cugini's  Pizzeria & Trattoria and The Okonite Company. Additional information can be found on p. 2.
    • The Chamber partnered with the Santa Maria Times on their local business spotlight series. For January, Oasis Senior Center talked about the vistal services the nonprofit provides the local community and plans for expansion. The full video can be found at http://santamaria.com/local-business-spotlight. 
    • The Chamber and Visitors Bureau kicked off the Dine Out Santa Maria Style & Craft Cocktail campaign, encouraging the community to support local restaurants offering $20.22 specials. Additional information available at https://santamariavalley.com/2022-dine-out-santa-maria-style-craft-cocktail-contest. 
    • The Economic Development Commission assisted two businesses with business licenses and two businesses with setting up their business

    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber continues to hold their weekly “Build Your Business” breakfast meetings, an opportunity for local businesses to network and provide leads and testimonials.

    • The Economic Development Commission worked with AT Still with assistance with various student needs.

    • The Chamber convened Hispanic business leaders for an insightful and engaging conversation around how the Chamber’s organization can best meet the needs of all businesses in the Santa Maria Valley community.

    • Due to the rise in COVID cases, the Chamber postponed their 2022 Business Expo to March 3rd.


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Visitors Bureau hosted three journalists, who provided positive PR about the Santa Maria Valley.

    • The Chamber released their Winter Quarterly Digital Magazine, which included the 2022 Visitor Guide as an insert. You can read this latest issue at http://santamaria.com/quarterly-digital-magazine.

    •  The Visitors Bureau launched a new and improved tourism site, which can be viewed at https://santamariavalley.com.

    • The Visitors Bureau launched a new PR campaign. The “Spice Campaign” showcases why Santa Maria is a great play to stay when visiting the Central Coast.

    • The Economic Development Commission continues to assist with Skyway Collective project, bringing new businesses to Santa Maria.

    March 2022 March 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Economic Development Commission provided advice and community/market information to a broker working with prospective tenant interested in the old Costco center and surrounding properties.

    • The Economic Development Commission provided support to several local small businesses on topics ranging from permits to start-up questions.

    • The Visitors Bureau is providing marketing support to a number of local events and festivals which are planning to return to the community in 2022. Examples include the AirFest, BBQ Festival, and other similar events.

    • The Visitors Bureau connected with the local disc golf association to pitch the Santa Maria Valley as a site to host large scale events/tournaments in the future.

    • The Visitors Bureau began a discussion with organizers of a major hot air balloon and Wine festival about the potential to create a similar event in the Santa Maria Valley

    • The Visitors Bureau participated with Visit California’s Gold Pass Co-op Program, hosting a familiarization visit for writers and influencers


    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber’s Business/Government Roundtable met and received a briefing about legislative action in Congress.
    • The Chamber’s Build Your Business (BYB) continues to meet each week to allow local businesses to expand their networks and build new and stronger connection with others in the community.
    • The Chamber hosted another session in its FBLA Forum Series. The February program featured Naomi Altergott with World Financial Group. She introduced the students to investing ideas and shared tips on how they could get started as investors at their age. More than 100 students from local high schools participated in the session.
    • The Chamber hosted a kick-off meeting for a new Santa Maria Connect steering committee. The group is looking to relaunch the young professionals group with a regional YP conference in the fall of 2022.


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Chamber again partnered with the City Council to recognize the February Featured Businesses, Atlas Copco-Mafi Trench & Neuroboxing Santa Maria.
    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley class of 2021 completed their legacy project, a new mural at the Jim May Park, visible along Highway 101. The class hosted a ribbon cutting and presented the project to the City’s Recreation and Parks Department.
    • The Visitors Bureau connected area hotels with a local Rotary program to bring awareness to human trafficking in our community.
    • The Chamber and Visitors Bureau facilitated two training sessions for restaurant and hotel staff who need to complete newly mandated Responsible Beverage Service certification training.
    • The Economic Development Commission continues to facilitate the downtown revitalization project, supporting the City and developer team as they work complete a development agreement.

    April 2022 April 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber has partnered with The County of SB and the SB Foundation to help get information out to fellow businesses about the Microbusiness COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. This program exists to assist microbusinesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 with grant funding up to $2500
    • The Chamber has continued their “Local Business Spotlight” partnership with the Santa Maria Times, featuring Clarissa Nagy of cnagy Wines for their March spotlight.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission assisted a number of businesses with issues including permitting, businesses licenses, site locations and referrals for various needs & services. 
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission assisted new businesses and those looking to start a business with issues including zoning and site location.
    • The Chamber continues to work with Tesla in identifying new charging locations within the City of Santa Maria.


    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber’s Annual Business Expo returned in 2022 with over 70 businesses and over 400 attendees. Fellow business members and members of the community had a chance to engage with one another and re-connect/re-build relationships.
    • The Chamber partnered with the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast to hear from local experts and engage in a community discussion around the future of housing in our community.
    • The Chamber hosted a workshop on how to import products from Mexico and what business opportunities are available.
    • The Chamber continues to hold their weekly “Build Your Business” breakfast meetings, an opportunity for local businesses to network and provide leads and testimonials.


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Chamber launched our second cohort of the Junior CEO program. These students will be gearing up for a 6 week workshop as they prepare to learn about starting their own business.

    • The Chamber did a tourism photo and video shoot to expand their tourism assets around barbecue, wine, dining and created new assets around disc golf and multi-generational travel.

    • The Chamber continues to keep their local tourism blog up to date to encourage tourism in the area. Blog posts are available at santamariavalley.com/blog/

    • The Chamber expanded their tourism motorcycle video assets specific to buildings online itineraries for the touring industry

    • The Chamber hosted TikTok and Instagram Influencer BlackFoodie through a Visit California partnership

    • The Chamber partnered with the California Chamber of Commerce to take positions on a number of bills, including supporting AB 1761 (allowing flexible work schedules) and opposing SB 1044 (“No Show” legislation). Full details on these and other legislation the Chamber is supporting can be found at bit.ly/SMVCCAdvocacy.

    • The Chamber’s Leadership Santa Maria Valley program is now accepting applications for the class of 2023! Application and additional program information can be found at santamaria.com/leadership-santa-maria-valley.

    May 2022 May 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Chamber held a number of ribbon cuttings for local businesses celebrating opening, membership to the Chamber and other significant milestones. 
    • The Chamber’s Leadership Santa Maria Valley program held a “Lunch & Learn” event focusing on the new work culture: How to attract & retain employees.
    • The Chamber hosted a workshop focusing on how to import products from Mexico, and what business opportunities are available.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission assisted a number of existing businesses with questions regarding hiring, expansion, loans, permitting and other issues.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission assisted businesses looking to open in Santa Maria, including a restaurant and mobile food truck.


    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber hosted the 2022 Strawberry Industry Recognition Dinner, where they raised a record amount of over $5000 for the Strawberry Commission Scholarship Fund.
    • The Chamber took a deeper look into the on-goings of the past year at Vandenberg Space Force Base during the State of Vandenberg luncheon. The presentation focused on ways the base is looking to partner with local businesses and communities on in the upcoming year to strengthen our region as a whole.
    • The Chamber continues to hold their weekly “Build Your Business” breakfast meetings, an opportunity for local businesses to network and provide leads and testimonials.


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Visitors Bureau attended the Visit Santa Barbara Tourism Summit.
    • The Visitors Bureau met with Visit California to learn about upcoming marketing and PR initiatives.
    • The Visitors Bureau published motorcycle touring itineraries to their website as a way to attract this audience to the Santa Maria Valley.
    • The Visitors Bureau announced the winners of their 2022 craft cocktail winners: The Salty Brigade Kitchen (Lazy Lemon Drop) for Fan Favorite and The Maker’s Son (The Ranchero) as Judges’ Choice.
    • The Chamber highlighted Cnagy wines in their latest Local Business Spotlight video, done in partnership with the Santa Maria Times.
    • The Chamber partnered with the City of Santa Maria on their monthly featured business program, highlighting two local businesses for April 2022: Care Connection Transport Services (Women-Owned Business: ) and Safran Cabin Santa Maria (Manufacturing Business).
    • The Chamber held a kick-off event for their Junior CEO program. The 8-week program gives students the opportunity to learn how to open their own business, with the chance to open shop and see their product to the public at the end of the program.
    • The Chamber continued its Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Speaker Series in partnership with the local high schools.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission worked on Allan Hancock College on student housing needs.

    June 2022 June 2022

    Catalyst for Business Growth:

    • The Chamber highlighted A.T. Still University in their Local Business Spotlight video series, done in partnership with the Santa Maria Times.
    • The Chamber’s Hispanic Business Outreach Coordinator worked with the SBDC on client intake calls, addressing small business concerns including grant opportunities, business licesnsing/permitting, and startup capital.
    • Chamber staff took a site tour of Central Truck Centers new Santa Maria location.
    • The Chamber held a number of ribbon cuttings for local businesses celebrating opening, membership to the Chamber and other significant milestones. 


    Convener of Leaders & Influencers:

    • The Chamber held their 2022 State of Education event, where Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, presented on the progress and status of education in the County and how the Santa Barbara County Education Office directly serves students, schools, and districts in the Santa Maria Valley.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission assisted with introductions to city Public works regarding a local fiber project.
    • Convened local school district leadership with leadership from Vandenberg Space Force Base to discuss a collaboration in educating students about STEM careers available on base.
    • The Chamber continues to hold their weekly “Build Your Business” breakfast meetings, an opportunity for local businesses to network and provide leads and testimonials


    Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley:

    • The Chamber and City of Santa Maria recognized Donna Randolph Insurance Agency and CalPortland as their monthly featured businesses.
    • The Chamber remains active in the Veteran Stand down committee, assisting with planning and running parking for the event and will be volunteering at the event. 
    • The Chamber’s Junior CEO program held their program wrap up & celebration event. The participants made a combined total of $4,699 in sales and netted $2,735 in profit.
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development Commission continues to work with the City of Santa Maria on new developments including the downtown project and the Skyway Collective.
    • The Chamber assisted a behavioral health facility looking for potential sites for a facility, introduction to 3 land possibilities
    • Chamber staff attended a CALED (California Economic Development) convention to learn more about economic development efforts at the State level.
    • The Chamber’s Visitor Bureau hosted a number of social media influencers to help promote the Santa Maria Valley as a tourism destination. 
    • Chamber Staff attended the Central Coast Tourism Summit in Ventura where we discussed our messaging for the Central Coast for the next campaign
    • The Chamber’s Visitor Bureau brought in media as judges for Santa Maria Valley BBQ fest to help promote the Santa Maria Valley to potential visitors.
    • The Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley kicked off its 2022 season! The Trolley runs in a loop visiting a handful of the Santa Maria Valley’s most popular wineries every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 16, 2022.

  • What Our Members Have Shared

    "Since joining the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, I’ve developed so many new relationships unique to our local chamber business community. The new business generated immediately paid for itself many-fold! I am grateful for my fellow chamber members like Kelsi Fitzgerald of Veritas Innovative Pest and Termite Solutions whose support and encouragement has been such a warm welcome to the SMVCC family. My business certainly wouldn’t be where it is today without my chamber of commerce relationships."

    -Marina Garcia-Endert
    Owner of Truly Gifted “Your Professional Gift Company”

     

    "As a 40 year resident of Santa Maria, there was never any question where I would start my own business! I have owned Wine & Design in Orcutt for over two years now, and I know first-hand how the right community support can help your business grow! Being a member of the Chamber has opened doors for Wine & Design that we may not have found otherwise! The camaraderie and extensive networking opportunities are second to none! If you are not yet a member, feel free to call and ask me about it! If you are a member, do your business a favor, and look into attending as many Chamber functions as you can! Chamber members take care of one another!"
     

    - Julie Jorge
    Owner, Wine & Design Orcutt

     

    "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce for all the work they have done to keep the busieness community informed during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. As a sponsor member of the Chamber, we have used the services offered to businesses many times. We find that the SMVCC website has numerous resources available to fit the needs of our business. Being a Chamber member also helps us to make connections and gain exposure in the communities we service. This has enabled us to grow our business through networking with other businesses. We would highly recommend any business to become a member."

    - Omar and Petra Hernanadez,
    Owners, Shred 2 You, Inc.

     

    “The SMV Chamber has helped amplify our agency’s marketing efforts and given us opportunities to promote our business in areas that we otherwise wouldn’t be able. We are in constant contact with our Chamber representatives ensuring we are maximizing our membership so we don’t miss out on a golden opportunity. They are always there to help guide, promote, and see to it that we continue to remain top of mind.”

    - Morris & Garritano Insurance Services

     

    "I can honestly say that the Chamber and Visitors' Bureau has significantly helped me with my sales personally. With them always sending us updates on events and what is going on within the city and even the Central Coast, I have been able to turn that information into selling points to get tourist groups to not only visit my hotel but also go to some of these events supporting Santa Maria Valley. Without their assistance and constant updates, especially during COVID-19, we would probably not be doing as well as we are now. Thank You Santa Maria Valley Chamber & Visitors' Bureau! Best Western PLUS big America appreciates you!"

    - Robert Cooks, Sales Manager
    Best Western PLUS Big America

     

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce provides me an opportunity to interact with other businesses in the community and gain the exposure that every business needs. With weekly and monthly events available to get involved, you truly will get as much out of the experience as you put in. It has been my experience that the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to providing events which benefit the community and business members. I recommend chamber membership to anyone who wants their business to grow.

    -Timothy J. Bomben
    Wave Business

     

     

    "The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce has been an excellent partner in helping promote and generate visibility to Allan Hancock College’s new skills-based career readiness app/job board; Career Connect powered by Jobspeaker. Working together with SMVCC, we have developed a consistent and efficient way to build and maintain relationships between our local employers and students at Allan Hancock. Our new regional platform is an easy and intuitive way for students to interact with employers. This new app scientifically increased our ability to build and expand relationships with our employer partners and for employers to access an excellent pool of career ready students across the region. As local businesses continue to re-open and look to find the right candidate, Career Connect can help find the candidate with the skills sets that the best suits their need. We look forward to our continued partnership with SMVCC, to generate opportunities for employment and successful placement, as well as to empowering and lifting our community."

    - Alma Miranda, Career Readiness Specialist: Business Partnerships
    Allan Hancock College

     

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce has been really good to me and has been great for my business! The Chamber is the hub of the city, the who's, what's, and where's of just about anything in the area. 
    I started a business back in 1995. I had no idea how to network, as I was very shy. I went to a Chamber meeting on an invite from a client, scared to death, and gave my 60-second introduction. The Chamber was very warm, welcoming, and informative; and I built my business just through Chamber referrals! It was so much fun I later became an Ambassador for the Chamber, and still enjoy helping new people with ideas and resources to help their businesses grow!  There is no competition in the Chamber. Members are willing to help other members, even if they are in the same profession, as there are plenty of customers for everybody. I invite you to check out one of our Build Your Business breakfasts on zoom, or a mixer, and learn of the benefits that the Santa Maria Valley Chamber has to offer you and your business!

    - Tara Hoffmann, Owner
    Tara's Mobile Footcare