As the economy continued to push through its recovery stage in 2012, the Tracy Chamber dedicated its time and efforts in continuing to foster a healthy and viable membership. The task of bringing in new members and retaining current members was not an easy one, but once again by working as a team, staff, Ambassadors and Board members prevailed in their efforts! In 2012, the Chamber enrolled 79 new members, nearly the same amount of new members as the previous year. Even more outstanding is the fact that the Chamber accomplished a retention rate of over 85% of their current membership. With that being said, upon reviewing the successes and outcomes of 2012, the Chamber firmly believes there is “light at the end of the tunnel”.
2012 marked a year of hope for everyone, and the Chamber made a commitment to contribute to the recovery of the economy by doing what it knows best; providing support and education to its members in the following activities:
*Hosted 27 Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremonies for new and existing businesses
*Collaborated in obtaining research and community input on the feasibility of a Business Accelerator for the Tracy community
*Awarded $6,500 in scholarships to Hispanic students through the Hispanic Business Group Latino Scholarship program
*Donated $1,000 to ForCarol.com through the proceeds of the Tracy Entrepreneurs Tradeshow
*Hosted the first ever Business Building Boot Camp to educate members on the importance of branding
*Hosted the State of the City event with guest speaker, Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis, the leader owner, operator and developer of real estate in the nation.
*Educated businesses on the state of the national and local economy at the Economic Business Forum
*Collaborated with the Small Business Development Center of San Joaquin County to provide Business Start-Up workshops at the Chamber every 2nd Thursday of the month
*Offered free counseling for business owners through SCORE, a non-profit comprised of retired business counselors.
*Donated over $7,000 to local non-profits from proceeds of the 26th Annual Tracy Bean Festival. To date, over $350,000 has been donated to community non-profits.
*Provided hands-on training through mock interviews to over 600 high school students from Tracy, West, Kimball, Academy of Business & Law and Millennium High Schools through the Hire Me First Program.
*Facilitated over 165 internships between high school students and employers through the Hire Me First Program.
*Awarded over 200 students that completed the Hire Me First certification requirements of participating in job readiness workshops, mock interviews, internships and a career fair.
*Appointed Sofia Valenzuela as Director, a position that has been vacant for 4 years.
*Launched ‘iShop Tracy’ Contest during the holiday season to promote awareness of shopping locally
In early 2013 the Chamber adopted the new mission statement:
“Creating a Community where Business Thrives” with the following objectives:
-To build a stronger relationship with businesses and the community at large
-To enhance the forms of communication used to educate and inform our members
By obtaining a better understanding of the needs of the community and actively working to fulfill those needs, the Chamber is certain 2013 will be another year of prevailing and overcoming the challenges of our economy.