|By Carlton Lund|
Chairman of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Carlsbad Chamber serves as the unified voice of business
When the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce began in 1923, it was a good day if seven members showed up for a meeting. On March of this year, we had more than 500 people attend our Annual Business Awards Dinner at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa. With more than 1,600 member businesses employing 65,000 or more, the Carlsbad Chamber is the second largest chamber in San Diego County and the 10th largest in California. It truly is an influential force for the region’s business community.
This year, as in years past, the chamber will work to promote business in a way that balances prosperity with quality of life. We will do this through four primary avenues:
- Member Services – This includes our monthly newspaper – the Carlsbad Business Journal, member directory, award-winning Web site and the many opportunities we provide for members to meet, network and work together, including Sundowners, First Friday Breakfasts, Business Expos and the State of the City Luncheon. Let’s not forget our world-famous biannual Carlsbad Village Street Faire, which keeps our local retailers on the map.
- Educational Programs – We will continue to give our members opportunities to learn and grow. Our award-winning Chamber University teaches leadership and management skills, and is a model for programs around the country. And it’s not finished growing. By now, you should all know about our Small Business Success Center, which offers group and one-on-one help with basic business skills and resources to help our members stay in business through prosperous and challenging times. Our Industry Roundtables give members an opportunity to meet with their peers and share their ideas and enthusiasm. We also are a center in North County for SCORE business counseling. The chamber keeps updated information on the area’s major employers, clubs and organizations, along with relocation packets, employer posters and other valuable local data.
- Cooperative Partnerships – Since Ted Owen began as our CEO in 2004, the chamber has excelled in building partnerships with local government, educational groups and business organizations. It’s not unusual for us to be asked to solve problems, smooth relationships and help our members overcome hurdles to their business projects.
- Legislative Advocacy – The chamber publishes a Public Policy Manual that explains our positions on important issues. Our member committees gather information from various opposing views, review and discuss the issues and make recommendations to our Board of Directors, who also are volunteers from our business community. We then act to let our positions be known through our cooperative and productive relationships with city, county, state and federal representatives.
It’s important to note that the Carlsbad Chamber is independent from government. We receive no operating funds from the city of Carlsbad or any other government agency. While we work hard to promote or defeat legislation that impacts business, we do not and will not, advocate for or against candidates for public office.
I look forward to working with this year’s Board of Directors to continue building on the good work of more than 80 years of Carlsbad Chamber volunteers and staff, maintain the chamber’s reputation as the unified voice of business and give our members the best return on their investment – a vibrant business community in the best place to live in the world.