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Chambers of Commerce across the country talk about "strength in numbers", and the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce is no different. When we speak with political leaders, write letters of request or letters of support, we always include the number of members affiliated with our Chamber of Commerce.

A good example is a recent letter sent to all three of New Mexico's congressional delegation. S.2155 – The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act passed through the Senate with a large bi-partisan vote. Our request of Representatives Grisham, Lujan and Pearce on behalf of the 317 members of our Chamber of Commerce is that they vote in favor of the passage of this Act. We believe this bill will bring relief to smaller banks, allowing them to better serve not only their customers but also their communities.

And yes, I know that Representatives Grisham and Lujan more than likely will never see or hear about our letters since we are not from their respective districts. However, we are going to make the effort on behalf of our members anyway.

Since tourism is a major part of our economic plans in Grant County, we serve as an advocate for this industry. We will be represented on a Tourism Town Hall panel discussion that will take place at Western New Mexico University in April. We will set-up a booth promoting tourism in Grant County during the 2018 Governor's Conference on Hospitality in Ruidoso during the month of May. We serve as representatives from southwest New Mexico on committees within the New Mexico Hospitality Association. And of course, we continually market our area and tourism-related businesses on a daily basis to prospective visitors and companies.

Your Chamber of Commerce also looks for viable opportunities to bring dollars into southwest New Mexico from people who live outside our region. We work with local businesses and organizations to bring events to Grant County, such as working with Oni Ken Karate to host a great Karate Tournament. We work with the Grant County Rolling Stones Gem and Mineral Society to host a successful Labor Day Weekend Gem Show. In July we will co-host a Wine Celebration with the New Mexico Winegrowers Association and locally-owned La Esperanza Vineyards and Winery. In August we will host a conference for Chamber of Commerce executives from around the state of New Mexico and eastern parts of Arizona.

From the Chamber of Commerce standpoint, we want to see our business members succeed. We want to be an advocate for shopping and dining locally. We want to see service industry businesses flourish. Every time a business closes, we see it as a black-eye to our community. We want to work with local businesses to assist them. In the fall we will partner with the New Mexico Small Business Development Center to produce a Business Expo at the Conference Center. A draft plan includes a lunch with a guest speaker that will talk about how small business owners and managers can reduce stress. We will have booths with businesses that can help with the stress of finding adequate financial assistance, marketing assistance, human resource assistance, job training and planning assistance.

As we go about our day-to-day responsibilities for our Chamber of Commerce members and the management of the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business & Conference Center, we continually ask ourselves one question… will this benefit our members and the Conference Center. It is all about being an advocate for our supporters.

So, here's the $155 question? If your business or organization joins the Chamber of Commerce for as little as $155.00 a year, what can we do to be an advocate for your business or industry. Well, give me a call at (575) 538-3785 and we will discuss what the Chamber of Commerce can do for you.

Live from Silver City

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