Happy New Year! Your Chamber is looking forward to serving its members and the community in 2014! I am honored to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors with so many dedicated, active and community-minded staff, Board and committee members.
Your Chamber has been hard at work striving to make our greater Modesto area the best place to live and do business in the Central Valley. Our focus will be to continue to keep local talent in Modesto and bring new jobs to our community. We understand that these goals need to be balanced with both agricultural and environmental interests. For our community to thrive and for quality of life to be improved, we need to put more of our citizens to work.
We cannot do this without new core industry, which cannot be obtained without having shovel-ready space for businesses to locate. While there are some sites within our existing boundaries, they are simply not large enough for the scale of industry we need, nor are they close enough in proximity to transportation corridors. As a result, the Modesto community has lost opportunities to put its citizens in well-paying jobs.
The Land Use and Transportation Committee is driven to make this possible by working with the City to develop a plan for increasing the number of business parks within Modesto. This was the topic at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, and a decision will be made on an amendment to the City’s General Plan in early 2014.
Obtaining space is only one part of the issue. We have to attract business to our community. There are many things to be proud of in and around the greater Modesto area, but we have major problems with gangs, crime and drugs. These problems have impacted Modesto’s reputation. In order to attract new and diverse industry, we need to work on Modesto’s image. Your Chamber is dedicated to doing just that, partly through marketing our community, but mainly working through committees and with other community organizations. We need to work together collaboratively and the Chamber will do its best to work with other organizations in this community to solve our gang, crime and drug problems.
Your Chamber is also dedicated to providing its members in the greater Modesto area with a number of benefits. Its many events provide education and information that is important to the business community, and we provide many opportunities to help market your business to the local community and beyond. One of our main missions is to always promote shopping local. Furthermore, the Chamber is always here to provide direction to struggling businesses. The Chamber is currently working to reestablish a program that provides retired businessmen as volunteers to assist small businesses that are struggling because of an owner’s absence due to illness or injury.
Your Chamber needs volunteers who are interested in helping their community to serve on committees. We need our members to get involved. Furthermore, we recognize that we need more diversity in our committees and on our Board. Please contact the Chamber office at (209) 577-5757 or visit the Chamber’s website at www.modchamber.org if you have any interest in joining a committee.