Resolving that their differences were way less important than their common goals, all four of the Vallejo area's chambers of commerce have joined forces to encourage local economic growth.
Leaders of the Solano County Black Chamber, the Filipino-American Chamber of Solano County, Inc., and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Solano /Napa, joined the Solano College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce at a meeting at the Vallejo Chamber's offices Tuesday. Under discussion were both the upcoming second all-chambers mixer later this month, and a business expo planned for November. The expo, the first in which the alliance will have a hand, is in its ninth year, organizers said.
The alliance was formed last year to "revitalize the business community in this area and advertise the city of Vallejo as a good place to do business with," said Hermie Sunga, head of the Filipino American chamber.
Though its formation was the result of cooperation between all the groups, Vallejo chamber head Rick Wells "really spearheaded it," said the Black Chamber's Veronica Stone.
The idea for an all-chamber alliance came to Wells during a mixer, he said.
"There are so many independent organizations with overlapping purposes," Wells said. "We wanted to increase communication between them and provide a regular venue to communicate. It's amazing how much we learn when we get together."
SBDC director Charles Eason said a similar coalition existed some years ago and included the city of Vallejo and downtown business groups. But city funding for the group became a budget casualty two years ago and the effort fizzled. Besides, it was never as cohesive and cooperative as the new alliance is turning out to be, organizers said.
Until the alliance formed, the smaller, ethnic chambers operated more or less in a vacuum, providing services for their individual members, while the Vallejo Chamber dealt with larger issues, the leaders said.
Stone said the ethnic chambers serve a niche market and help smaller, less-experienced entrepreneurs feel comfortable among other business owners.
"Some business owners join our chamber, for example, because they want to be identified as an African-American business," Stone said. "Also, we can focus on the special needs of our members."
Ethnic chambers can also help business owners with language barriers, Martinez said.
Stone said past attempts at chamber cooperation were only marginally successful. The events the alliance has produced have been hugely successful by comparison. An all-chamber mixer held last year, the first the alliance produced, drew hundreds of participants, organizers said. In comparison, a typical chamber mixer draws dozens of business owners, the said.
None of the Tuesday meeting's participants could definitively explain what may have made the difference, except that perhaps it involved a gelling of the right combination of personalities.
"The time wasn't right" until now, said SBDC's Sandy Stelter.
"We all want a stronger local economy, which results in a better quality of life for everyone who lives in this city," Wells said. "More jobs, better jobs, a strong diverse business community. We all want that."
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
- ► 2007 (799)
- ► 2006 (662)
- Vallejo's Marine World profits up
- City of Fairfield Planners OK request to build a 1...
- Rush Ranch to receive $500,000 in improvements - R...
- Council OKs changes to Nut Tree development deal
- Bordoni project moving forward in Vallejo
- Necessary medicine - VacaValley to expand its ER
- Dixon ok near on homes plan with high school plot
- Unemployment rises in June, up half a percent in S...
- Big tasks ahead for new boss in Suisun City
- Weathering the weather - Forget the summer blister...
- Mariani Packing begins celebration
- Goat milk becomes goat soap in Vacaville
- High-traffic flow may be plus for Geri-Towne sale ...
- Wal-Mart nears deal on Mission Village locale in F...
- Development of Nut Tree site ready to begin
- Big tasks ahead for new boss in Suisun City
- Major retailers ready to ink local deals
- Fairground complex plans move ahead
- County housing-price increase leads Bay Area regio...
- High-traffic flow may be plus for Geri-Towne sale
- Suisun City names new city manager - former Pismo ...
- Solano County's jobless rate dips slightlyin May
- Fairfield to get furniture giant Ashley Furniture ...
- Travis AFB $5 million redesigned gate project to b...
- SF salami company to build facility in Fairfield's...
- Business space stays strong despite vacancy increa...
- Genentech to issue $2 billion in bonds -- Funds to...
- Travis continues lobbying, privatization plans
- Local chambers join forces, form an economic allia...
- Anheuser-Busch brewery donates $4,000 to restore C...
- Plans to base 13 C-17 at Travis AFB on schedule fo...
- Solano EDC courts biotechs at BIO for the county
- Study predicts healthy future for Solano business
- Plans afoot to make Solano a tourism hub
- School's out - Now building improvement can begin
- Lennar alters plans for Mare Island civilian use
- Bank of America will open in growing Green Valley
- Vallejo Home sales tapering off
- Trailblazing Vacaville's Buckingham Charter Magnet...
- New Dixon sign grabs attention along I-80
- Highway 37 project in Vallejo nears completion
- Solano County welfare new computer system called C...
- Vacaville Budget Benefit Residents
- New national cemetery slated for Dixon; some say t...
- Solano Housing Coalition Affordable Housing Awards...
- Solano County crime rate continues steady drop
- ▼ July (47)
- ► 2004 (125)