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  • Working Hard on Your Behalf

  • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is here for business. We continue to work hard to serve our members, local businesses and the Santa Maria Valley community. Here’s a glimpse at what we’ve been up to lately.
    (Updated 10-1-20) 
     
  • Catalyst for Business Growth

     

    • The Chamber continues to see significant traction in their “Support Santa Maria Valley” campaign, with over 7,000 video views and 1,700+ uses of their #SMVOpenForBusiness hashtag on social media channels.
       
    • The Chamber’s Economic Development team is working with the City of Santa Maria to solicit development proposals for city-owned parcels in the Downtown core.
       
    • Working with the REACH regional economic development collaborative, the Chamber assisted in submitting a nomination for Vandenberg Air Force Base to serve as the host base of the newly created US Space Command HQ. If successful, this selection would result in 1,500+ jobs in Northern Santa Barbara County.
       
    • The Visitors’ Bureau continues to host writers and influencers who share their experiences with print and digital audiences, spreading the word about the Santa Maria Valley as a new get-away destination.
       
    • The Visitors’ Bureau started the process to renew the Tourism Marketing District. This hotel-driven, Chamber-managed initiative generates revenues which are used to market the region as a tourist destination.
       
    • Launching a bi-lingual “Support Santa Maria Valley” campaign to reconnect the community with local businesses and encourage economic recovery through increased business activity.
       
    • Our Visitors’ Bureau launched a “safe return to travel” campaign to support recovery of our local tourism and hospitality industries.   The campaign includes paid and organic digital ads, a blog and newsletter, public relations outreach to travel industry influencers, and web-based promotions.
    • Worked with the City on modifications/reopening allowances for businesses trying to reopen – or forced to modify their operations by moving outdoors, including the use of temporary signage, using parking lot spaces for additional outdoor dining, etc.

    • The Visitors Bureau shifted its popular Fave 5 e-blast to focus on virtual and “socially-distanced safe” activities to help locals and potential visitors stay connected with the Santa Maria Valley experience.

    • Our Economic Development Commission continues to work with businesses looking to open, expand and grow. This past month, they worked with 1 business on expansion, 2 new businesses, 2 compliance issues, and several conversations regarding downtown projects.

    • Continued to update our “Business Reopening/Recovery Toolkit” page to help businesses navigate the reopening and recovery process.   Information and resources are added regularly as new guidance or materials become available.   Resources are available in both English and Spanish.

    • Worked with the County and other leaders to complete and publicize the RISE Guide and to help businesses understand the requirements and complete the self-certification process to safely reopen.

    • Launched the “Safe and Open” pledge for businesses to promote their Safe & Open status through the Chamber and with free marketing resources. Made the pledge available in Spanish as well.

    • Chamber remains an active participant in the REACH regional economic partnership.  In particular, the Chamber is engaged with initiatives focused on expanding commercial space launch activity at Vandenberg AFB and promoting VAFB as a candidate site for the headquarters location for the new U.S. Space Force

    Read more about how we've been a catalyst for business growth HERE.

  • Convener of Leaders & Influencers

    • The Business & Government Roundtable had their monthly meeting and received an update on Wildfire prevention measures from PG&E.

    • The Chamber held a candidate forum for Mayoral and City Council Candidates, with over 50 community members participating in roundtable discussions with the candidates.

    • The Chamber Ambassador Committee continues to meet via zoom for their monthly meeting. The ambassadors continue to assist with welcoming new members, sharing chamber news and assisting at virtual events when needed.

    • The Santa Maria Connect! Young Professionals Board met to discuss creative ways to bring relevant content to young professionals during a time when in person events are not an option.

    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley’s Board of Directors created a task force to revise the way the program will be run, so they are prepared to accept new applications for the program whenever the social requirements allow it to continue to operate in 2021.

    • The Visitors Bureau continues to hold their virtual meetings for tourism and hospitality partners to connect and share ideas.

    • The Santa Barbara County Chambers of Commerce held a business briefing to provide and update on the new statewide COVID-19 tiers and business openings. 

    • The Chamber continues to convene and facilitate a regular “key community leaders” call to ensure various sectors are coordinating and sharing information/resources related to the pandemic and community needs.

    • SM Connect! Young Professionals held a Virtual Leadership Roundtable: Met with local CEO’s and community leaders to discuss with young professionals about leading during this time, leadership traits and strategies, as well as networking.

    • The Visitors Bureau held a SMV Tourism Virtual Meeting with Tourism Partners: Met with local tourism partners to check in on how they are doing as well as their strategies moving forward during this time.

    • The Visitors Bureau held their first Hospitality Happy Hour for hotel hospitality workers.

    • The Chamber continues to host monthly Virtual Mixers to allow businesses to reconnect and network.

    • The Chamber continues hosting Virtual BYB (Build Your Business) Breakfast meetings every Friday Morning as another business connection opportunity.

    • Leadership Santa Maria Valley recently graduated 20 new leaders as part of its 2020 Class.The class of 2021 has been rescheduled to begin in January 2021. Recruitment will begin this fall.

    Read more about how we've been a convener of leaders and influencers HERE.

  • Champion for a Stronger Santa Maria Valley

    • The Chamber Board of Directors released their ballot positions for the 2020 Election.
    • The Chamber celebrated their 2020 Annual Awards by airing the Awards Show on KCOY and streaming on YouTube. Viewers were invited to participate in a “Tune in to Win” contest for a chance to win a Santa Maria Staycation prize package.

    • The Chamber sent out their monthly COVID-19 Business Impact Survey. Though businesses continue to face challenges, over the past 3 months of conducting the survey, there has been an increase sense of optimism in the business community.

    • The Chamber participated in Employee Voter Registration Week, and continues to share the importance of voting in the upcoming election with the local community.

    • The Chamber is encouraging local businesses to complete required Harassment Prevention Training before the end of the year, and has partnered with CalChamber to offer a 20% discount on training.

    • The Chamber launched their weekly video blog, with President/CEO Glenn Morris gives an update on the Chamber, and ways our community can engage in the Chamber. 

    • The Economic Development Commission continues to facilitate local business participation in the City’s ongoing General Plan update.

    • The Chamber continues to actively monitor legislation in Sacramento and to provide feedback to local elected officials about the potential impacts of the various proposals.

    • 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. This campaign continues to grow as political, community, and business leaders across the county lend their voices and images to the spread the word.

    • Launched a monthly survey to gauge the status of local businesses, understand the impact of the pandemic on business, and inform our efforts to address local business needs.

    • Collaborated with neighboring Chambers to publish a resource directory 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-out” service

    • Chamber continues to provide regular updates on the state of business and local economic recovery efforts at City Council meetings and in other public forums to ensure businesses and community leaders are 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

    Read more about how we've been a champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley HERE.

  • What Our Members Have Shared

    "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