There’s no denying we have entered a new economy. Just as many of our members have adapted to the new business climate, the Chamber is adapting as well. In planning for new directions of the organization, the board of directors has been focusing on the Chamber’s core priorities.
Historically, the Hesperia Chamber Board of Directors has been a conservative group taking their fiscal responsibilities seriously. Over a decade ago, the board serving at that time had a vision of purchasing a building for the organization and began saving money toward that goal. Since then, the board not only kept the goal alive, but they achieved it in late 2010.
The board continues to be conservative with a policy to have a minimum of 6 months operating expenses maintained in reserves and a goal to ensure a sustainable future for the organization. In recent years, the Chamber had a contract for services that comprised 24% of the annual budget. Because of the declining economy in 2009 and 2010, that contract was not renewed in the 2011-12 fiscal year. That loss of revenue was offset by increases in revenues in other areas such as events and dues revenue and decreases in expenses. In addition, the board is researching new ideas to generate revenue that enhance member benefits.
As the board looks at revenue, they are also focusing on other priorities of the organization. In February 2012, the board adopted a new mission statement that clearly identifies the purpose of the organization: The Hesperia Chamber of Commerce builds a thriving business community through Education, Leadership, Promotion, and Networking opportunities.
As part of that mission and the drive forward to improve the organization the board set goals to demonstrate the value of Chamber membership and identify new trends that will ensure a successful future for the Chamber and its members.
At this time, the Chamber is sustaining itself, and like many of our members, we will continue to watch our bottom line. Moreover, the board is hopeful about the future and what it could bring for the organization. The Chamber has set it sights on growing, adding new services and programs that members need, and becoming THE business resource serving local entrepreneurs.
At a recent Coffee Ron Garton shared this message with members who then broke out into smaller groups and had roundtable discussions moderated by the board of directors. The feedback received at that meeting was incredibly valuable, but we’re not done asking for your input and support just yet.
The Chamber is launching the 2012 Membership Survey today to get a more in-depth look at the concerns local businesses have and the services members need and want. Invitations to the survey are being sent out by email, and the board of directors hopes you will take a few minutes to help them identify your priorities and ideas for the future of the Chamber.