By: Page Michel; President & CEO, San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce
In October, I took over as president of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce. This chamber has a long history and track record of success in the business community. With approximately 500 members, the San Marcos Chamber serves as the “voice of business” and works on programs and events to help grow local businesses.
Over the last four months, I have been tackling a long list of people to meet and businesses to know. At the same time, I’ve learned about local history, natural areas, shops, restaurants and non-profit organizations. San Marcos is a uniquely beautiful place and its citizens are unique too.
The Chamber mission is to make a positive impact on the economy. Our vision is to be the leading organization that collaborates with stakeholders to develop an environment where businesses thrive. A Board of Directors comprised of 19 volunteer leaders steers the Chamber and its staff of four on behalf of the membership. You can view the list of board members and staff on www.SanMarcosTexas.com.
On January 26th, the Board of Directors and staff held our annual Planning Retreat to set goals for 2023 that will help the chamber grow and expand its impact on the business community.
The top goals that were set focus on: enhancing the value and benefits of membership, growing in size, and boosting events and programs with new ideas and opportunities for participation.
I’m reaching out with this new column in the San Marcos Daily Record to make sure Chamber information gets out to as many people as possible in the community.
Several exciting events are coming up that are open to the full community, though chamber members reap the benefits of lower entry fees!
Members also have access to special events that are exclusively for members-only, where they connect with others in-person and expand their business networks. No matter how high-tech our society gets, people still enjoy doing business with people they know!
If you’ve been in business a long time in the area, but when you go to the store or events you don’t recognize many of the faces around you, realize this…those people don’t know you either. To stay in touch and “in the know” with the growing community, the Chamber provides the platform for you to continually boost your business name in this marketplace.
Google ranks a Chamber of Commerce link as one of the most credible in any community. Simply by having your business included on SanMarcosTexas.com you can improve your search engine ranking and results.
TRANSPORTATION SUMMIT – Feb. 16
This event is fast-approaching! It’s one that is open to the full community. Attend to hear updates about the I-35 Corridor’s imminent growth. Local and regional leaders will take an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities that face our region’s transportation systems. This year’s Summit will have a special focus on aviation, the growth surrounding the San Marcos Regional Airport, and how that growth will impact transportation systems across the Innovation Corridor.
The Transportation Summit will be held from 11am-1pm at the San Marcos Conference Center at Embassy Suites. This highly informative event includes lunch and networking.
STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Right now the Chamber’s Government Relations Council is monitoring legislative activity at the State Capitol to ensure the interests of our business community are being represented.
With so many bills being filed, it can be challenging to keep track of what’s happening, but the Chamber is committed to staying informed and advocating for policies that support local businesses.
Some of the key issues being tracked by the Chamber include job growth/business recruitment, taxes, workforce development/education, and infrastructure. We work closely with our state elected officials and other stakeholders to promote policies that will create a supportive environment for business growth.
A “Guiding Principles” document that outlines the policy statements adopted by the San Marcos Area Chamber is posted online. These statements are the filter used to determine the top priorities of what we will support or oppose.
JOB GROWTH & BUSINESS RECRUITMENT
Topping the list is job growth. The Chamber supports legislation that encourages diverse industries to locate here and bring new jobs by providing incentives for recruitment and expansion. One of Texas’ previous economic development incentive tools, known as Chapter 313, expired at the end of 2022. There are efforts to replace it with new legislation that includes more transparency and accountability, while still allowing Texas to maintain its competitive edge in attracting large projects.
Other states and nations are vying for the projects that we need and want in this region. Our economic development practitioners need every tool in their toolbox to compete and win.
If you’re a business owner or manager, be sure to stay informed about the important issues being considered at the Capitol. And if you’re not yet a member of the Chamber of Commerce, now is the time to join and make your voice heard!