President's Blog, July, 2012

I am very proud of the accomplishments of the Escalon Chamber of Commerce and what we have accomplished in the last couple of years.  We have a growing membership which means we can begin to branch into new areas to serve our merchant community.  In any organization you have 20% of the membership doing 80% of the work and with a small Chamber that means that at any one time there are six to eight people trying to do everything in Escalon. If you are questioning what our Chamber does, I would like to share what our 20% has accomplished.

We have worked along with the City Council in supporting Escalon into the Enterprise Zone which will allow growth and tax credits to a business.  On hearing that local merchants received letters concerning their being out of ADA compliance, we have organized a workshop to learn how to better cope with threatened laws suits.  We have stamped numerous Certificates of Origin.  These documents are used in international trade.  It is a printed form completed by the exporter or its agent and certified by an issuing body (the Chamber), attesting that the goods in a particular export shipment have been wholly produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. The Chamber website is beautifully constructed and provides information on our activities as well as an event calendar.

As with all nonprofits, fund raising is quite important and we hold two such events each year, the Wine Garden, formerly called the Wine Stroll, and the golf tournament.  Additionally, merchants were given the opportunity to participate in the Extravaganza at Creative Water Gardens - the perfect place to network and share their businesses with each other and with the community.  Each year the Chamber also hosts Christmas on Main an opportunity to give back to the community at large.  Senior Awareness Day allowed community seniors to learn about services available from local service providers and businesses.

Plans for the future include regularly scheduled mixers or morning coffees for relationship building among our merchants and to provide programs to help business grow.  We are in the process of creating a scholarship which can be used by an individual in our business community for continuing education.  A percentage of fund raising event profits are dedicated to the scholarship fund.  First scholarship projected to be awarded in 2013.

Your participation can help us provide even more Chamber success stories.  Escalon Chamber of Commerce members who get “the most for their investment” are those who take advantage of all chamber services, actively participate in chamber programs, and communicate their membership in the Chamber to everyone with whom they come in contact.