Published May 2002
Everett group an advocate, resource for members
The Everett Area Chamber of Commerce has its plate full of action items to chew on:
There are legislative issues to address, an All-America City campaign to get under way, networking events to plan and a Member-to-Member Discount program to maintain.
Add to that the search for downtown headquarters to replace the current south Everett office, and you start to get the picture.
But at the core of all this activity is the chamber’s desire to be a resource and a service to its 700 members — whether they employ two or 2,000.
“It’s important that different members are looking for different things from our chamber,” President and CEO Louise Stanton-Masten said.
For instance, some businesses take advantage of advertising opportunities through the newsletter and networking breakfasts, she said, while others look to the chamber as an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the community. Still others see the chamber, which regularly communicates with local and state lawmakers, as a tool for advocacy.
To ensure that the chamber continues to be an effective business resource, the group has hammered out four goals to direct its future course: promoting a prosperous business environment, driving business to members, being an advocate for members and ensuring a healthy, growing chamber.
“The difficulty in this business is that some of these goals are very hard to quantify,” said board Chair Travis Snider.
Goal No. 1, in particular, is difficult to measure, he said. “But having a prosperous business environment is really key, and we work on all sorts of issues: tax issues, transportation issues in Olympia. We’re working locally on supporting the Everett arena; we’re creating a Sports and Events Council — so there’s a number of ways that we’ll come at (establishing) a prosperous business environment.”
One of those ways includes acting as the fiscal agent for the campaign to make Everett an All-America City.
Just under way, the campaign, which is led by a 30-member steering committee of community and business leaders, has Everett competing against 99 other cities for the designation given by the National Civic League. Should the city be named a finalist, fund raising will be needed to finance continued competition. Already, the chamber has piggy banks at the ready to put in area businesses.
Another way the chamber is working to benefit the business climate is through the Sports and Events Council. Recently established, the council, whose members include representatives of the athletic community, the media, the Navy base and athletic venues, among others, will facilitate bringing in sporting and/or athletic events to Everett.
“The first role of the council is to make it easy for (events) to come — if (promoters) need permits to close a street for a race or to get a permit for a city ball field or whatever,” Stanton-Masten said. “And then secondly, to put in their hands a calendar of events — what they can do while (they’re) here.”
While the council satisfies the chamber’s first goal, it also plays a part in fulfilling the second: driving business to members.
“We want to be very deliberate in saying part of why we’re here is for economic reasons,” Snider said. “We’re here to support our members economically, and doing that, if we can drive businesses to their doorstep or somehow help to reduce costs, then we’re having an impact.”
The chamber’s Member-to-Member Discount program does both, Stanton-Masten said, by enabling members to offer a discount on their goods and services to other chamber members.
And because the discounts also are available to the employees of chamber members, the program helps businesses remain competitive when it comes to hiring, becoming a company benefit of sorts, Stanton-Masten said.
“It’s one of the things we’ve heard from a number of (our members), particularly our larger businesses,” she said.
The chamber holds networking breakfasts on the second Friday of the month. For more information, call 425-438-1487 or visit the chamber’s newly redesigned Web site, www.everettchamber.com.
© The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA