Archive for June, 2009

Seventy percent of small businesses anticipate moderate to significant growth in 2009, according to the Small Business Attitudes & Outlook Survey conducted by Constant Contact, a leading provider of email marketing and online surveys. Constant Contact conducted the survey of more than 3,000 respondents, in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), SCORE and the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), organizations dedicated to the success of small businesses. The survey was conducted from April 30, 2009 through June 12, 2009 and was focused on small business and their expectations for the future and the economy. Complete survey results are available online.

“The results of the survey reveal the optimism and perseverance that so often marks this spirited group of business owners, as well as their adaptability to meet current economic conditions,” said Gail Goodman, CEO and chairman, Constant Contact. “These companies show us all what it takes to succeed in any economic climate. We are grateful to our partners in the survey, which has given us an encouraging glimpse into the minds and attitudes of today’s small businesses.”

A national study by The Schapiro Group, an Atlanta based market research firm, reveals a number of important findings about how consumers and business owners perceive the local chamber of commerce and the businesses that are their members. For example:

• When consumers know that a business is a member of the local chamber, they are 44% more likely to think favorably about it.
• Consumers who are told that a business is a chamber member are 51% more likely to be highly aware of it and 57% more likely to think positively of its local reputation.
• Consumers are 63% more likely to buy goods and services in the future from a company that they believe is a member of the local chamber of commerce.  The study also has good news for businesses that sell to other businesses.
• When business decision-makers believe that a business is a chamber member, they are 37% more likely to think favorably of the business, 51% more likely to be highly aware of it, 58% more likely to think positively of its local reputation, and 59% more likely to buy goods and services from it.

Supporting the previous findings, the study also reveals a positive perception for the local chamber itself:
• Regarding the chamber’s impact on the local economy, 82% of respondents believe that the local chamber of commerce helps create jobs and promotes local economic development.

The results of the Schapiro study are clear: Positive perception increases among consumers and business owners when a business is identified as a member of the local chamber of commerce.  Simon Brackley, President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber, said that the research is the first of its kind, and confirms what many have thought about Chamber membership for years. Brackley stated, “Membership increases the visibility and credibility of a business. I think this is just as true for businesses that depend on the local economy as it is for internationally focused businesses. Many countries place an even greater importance on their Chambers of Commerce than America does. Letting business know in foreign countries that you are a Chamber member could be very important to potential business. If I was a member of our Chamber, I would be putting it on my letterhead, on my website, and in my ads. The research is clear that joining a Chamber is good business.”

This study was sponsored by IBM, Administaff, Jim Blasingame and AskJim.biz in cooperation with American Chamber of Commerce Executives. The study was conducted by The Schapiro Group and coordinated by Market Street Services. For the full study, please click here.

In a challenging economy every business, organization and government agency has to focus on fundamentals in order to survive. This in not the time to start unproven programs or take unneccessary risks. An organization should look at their essential mission statement and question everything that does not contribute directly to the mission.

For example the mission of a pizza restaurant is to provide quality pizza at a fair price. Peripherals such as delivery, salads, desserts, to-go orders, lasagne and staff uniforms may not directly benefit the bottom line. Usually some do and some don’t and business managers have to examine what is working.

For a nonprofit organization every program, staff role and expense needs to directly support the mission of the organization. Similarly government agencies should examine whether programs are effectively providing services to the taxpayer. Sometimes programs should be run by the private sector under a contractural arrangement.

We all owe it to our boards of directors, constituents and investors to thoroughly examine our operations and ensure efficiency at all levels.

Listen to the Chamber radio show Business Matters on KTRC 1260 am every Sunday morning at 10am.
Local guests discuss business issues and community events with Chamber President Simon Brackley.

Welcome to the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce blog. The blog is intended to provide timely updates about Chamber events, positions and benefits of membership.

The Chamber works to:

  • Grow the local economy
  • Provide networking and marketing opportunities
  • Represent business with government
  • Promote the community

All local business are invited to become members by calling (505) 988-3279. www.santafechamber.com has more information

Join the Chamber for a second trade mission to China – October 3-11. The $1799 price includes round trip flights from LAX, three meals a day, four-star hotels and tour buses. Visa is not included.

lacie@santafechamber has more information or call 988-3279.