A weekly update from our Executive Director, Timm Slater…
The Chamber Minute 05/04/19
Isn’t it amazing how quickly time passes and what is important to community life changes? Do you remember Vollsted Volkswagen or the Emporium or the Hub in downtown Coos Bay? Change, that is directed with vision, can chart a course to a great future. Let’s continue to focus on those BOLD ideas!
In a study about nations, it was asked, is a nation’s positive image of its future a function of its success or is its success a function of its positive image of its future? What they found was, in all cases, significant vision preceded significant success. Many nations began their climb to greatness without the right resources, population base or strategic advantages. What they did have was a detailed, extensive and significant vision of what they could become. This is also true about communities, businesses and even you. So, how about helping detail our vision for Oregon’s Bay Area.
What are the most noticeable differences you would like to see here in 2029? What would be different? How will the population mix differ from what it is now? What lifestyle changes have taken place? How will these differences affect your city? How will local government be different? What would it be like to live here? What would be the same?
I’m asking each of you to take some time, put some thought into it and detail your 2029 vision for our home. Use some of your BOLD ideas in the plan. This is an open book test, so get as much help from your family and friends as you want. Please share your thoughts with me at the Chamber office prior to May 31st. I’ll compile that response and get it out to all of you. Your ideas are critical to our success. This is really the first step in creating our own future. So, like the old hymn, we can “brighten the corner where you are”.
Remember our business is helping your business and like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 04/27/19
Recently Portland State University came out with its population projections for the next 25 years for all communities in Oregon. For Coos County they predict 25 years of no growth. Having suffered with over 30 years of no growth, I’m not inclined to accept that future and I hope you are not either. It is truly time for a new path.
The people of Manitoba felt the same concern about 9 years ago and found no solace in their elected leaders and their game plan. Hence arose, from the people, Manitoba BOLD and more.
So, what is your BOLD idea for Oregon’s Bay Area and Coos County?
BOLD is a community defining its vision, mission and values and collaborating with civic officials and leaders throughout the community to come together for the success of Coos County. Our community has survived because of the passion of the people that live here. Where would this area be without the John Whitty’s, the Louie Simpson’s, the Gordon Ross’s or dozens of others throughout our history. Where would this county be without all of you? You are all leaders in some way. Everyone in this community plays a role in its successful future. It’s our time to come together with a common vision for, and a common voice defining, what our home is and will be. It is time that we took the reins and define who we are, what we want to be and what is good for us and our children. Now that’s a BOLD idea!
We know every business venture starts with a vision. So, I’m here to ask you, WHAT IS YOUR BOLD IDEA for Oregon’s Bay Area and Coos County? Let’s make that difference now!
Remember Our Business is helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 04/20/19
Top 10 reasons to join the Chamber: Number 4,
Gain a voice in government.
Country singer Aaron Tippin had a song a few years ago entitled, “You got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Our Legislative Action Team (LAT) takes that to heart. It’s important for your Chamber to promote those things which give us a positive economic climate to grow your business and create a healthy community for your family.
The LAT has actively participated in every legislative session since 2011. In the 2018 short session, they tracked and worked the bills in support of the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) Legislative Agenda. While we have not been successful in every fight, the Chambers of Commerce in Oregon, are having an impact in Salem. The LAT, over the past few years, has developed a strong relationship with our legislators through the OSCC Chamber Day at the capitol, twice monthly teleconferences with them which we sponsor with the college, and direct contact with their offices. During the session, our Team meets as many times as necessary, each month, to be timely and effective. The 2019 session at the legislature is filled with challenges for Oregon businesses and communities which the LAT is striving to balance for all of us. Beyond the legislature, your LAT is actively participating in many other local issues, to make a difference for you.
Too often we think if we had more time, assets or help, we could really get something done. I am reminded of an old hymn which says “To the many duties ever near you now be true. Brighten the corner where you are”. So Chamber member, if you want to have an impact give us a call and join the LAT.
Remember “our business is helping your business”. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 04/13/19
Did you know that Coos County is Oregon’s leading producer of cranberries? Were you aware of the many opportunities for good live theater and music productions in our area? Have you ever wondered what a city councilor ready does? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in the Chamber’s Leadership Coos program.
Leadership Coos is an excellent way to see the total picture of what this area is about. Whether you have lived here all your life or just arrived in Oregon’s Bay Area, in the nine months of Leadership Coos you will learn facts, find services and discover opportunities you never knew existed. You also share time with a diverse group of professionals who make up your class, those giving presentations and the Leadership Coos committee members who were always on hand to direct the process.
One day per month from September through May participants attend seminars, tours and briefings which show them the issues and opportunities within our community and challenge them to become involved in the political or community organizations that match their interest. Monthly subjects, for example, range from Natural Resources & Agriculture, the historic foundation of our economy, to How we are Governed, from the city to the federal level, to Living in the Bay Area—talking about arts, entertainment and recreation, and many more topic areas.
Leadership Coos graduates its 30th class next month and is looking ahead to forming the 2019-2020 class. So, if this sounds interesting to you, give us a call today and we will get you on the list. Also, all you Leadership Coos Alumni, we will be having a 30th anniversary celebration on June 20th at OIMB. Look for more information soon.
Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 04/06/19
It’s Spring! Isn’t it great to go to work and come home in the daylight? All over the small green leaves are budding out and the daffodils are sprouting by the road side. Our thoughts turn to yard work, barbecues and getting ready for visitors.
National Tourism week is May 5 through May 11. Since we have company coming, a Bay Area Brigade has been organized to clean up Highway 101 on Saturday April 27th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. We have the highway broken into areas to be covered by Pirates, Bulldogs or Lakers. When your three-hour shift is done, everyone will head for the CB Fire Hall for a free BBQ Lunch and to find out which team will receive the Bay Area Brigade Trash Trophy for most stuff collected. If you don’t have a team and still want to help, come on down to the starting point on Saturday and we will match you up with a team to help make Oregon’s Bay Area sparkle!
At 7:30 am, Saturday April 27th, we will all gather at the NB Fire Station. At the registration site, besides signing your waivers, there will be 101 section maps, garbage bags, trash pickers vests and gloves available from ODOT and SOLVE. At the end of the event ODOT will collect all the trash bags.
If you think your business isn’t a tourist related, think again. In 2017, for example, Coos County visitors spent $25 million on ground transportation and motor fuel. They spent over $29 million in retail stores and another $25 million in grocery stores. . In total, visitors spent some $271 million in Coos County.
So hey let’s all get out and spruce up the Highway. Company is coming!
Remember Our Business is helping your Business, and like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 03/30/19
Did you know that the first Community college in Oregon was our own Southwestern Oregon community College? It was formed through an election in May 1961, by local people seeing a need for higher education on the south coast. In the first few years Southwestern held classes in surplus US Navy WWII facilities. Construction of the permanent campus, around Empire Lakes, began in 1963, with additions in the 1970s and the 90s. Later the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, was added. The progress continued with the construction and opening of the Curry county campus in 2012.
Enrollment has grown from 815 in 1961 to over 10,000 students annually.
Cultural and athletic events at the college attract hundreds from the community to the campus each year. As a partner in the South Coast’s economic development, Southwestern offers the region’s employees and employers educational opportunities to meet their needs.
In the last couple years, the forestry program returned to Southwestern with classes for a new Associate of Science (AS) degree. Also, the College signed an agreement with OSU which enables AS degree holders to transfer into OSU as juniors. Now Southwestern is actively moving ahead with construction plans for the new Health & Science building to provide students the most current technologies. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place on April 12th.
So where ever you want to go in life, you truly can get there through Southwestern Oregon Community College.
This is Timm Slater for the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 03/23/19
It’s almost Spring! Isn’t it great to go to work and come home in the daylight? All over the small green leaves are budding out, grass is growing and rhododendrons are blooming. Our thoughts turn to baseball, graduations and getting ready for visitors.
If you think your business isn’t a tourist related business, think again. In 2017 Coos County visitors spent $25 million on ground transportation and motor fuel. They spent over $29 million in retail stores and another $25 million in grocery stores. In total, visitors spent some $271 million in Coos County and guess what, it’s your employees that keep them coming back.
Remember when a person who had one bad experience used to tell 10 other people about it? Ten years ago, Travel Oregon estimated that each bad experience cost a community $20,000. With Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, imagine what that costs equates to today.
Now imagine what great experiences can do for your business. Visitors spend more and stay longer if they feel welcome. Why consumers will pay 10% more for a product or service from businesses that offers great customer service. To replace an existing customer, your businesses will spend five times more to attract a new one.
So, what can we do to get ready for this year’s guests? Focus on customer service, visitor appreciation and area knowledge with your staff. Sign up for the free online training for your frontline folks and help them become community Ambassadors! Register now at tourism.oregonstate.edu/camb/. It only takes a little time invested to make a big difference for our community and your business.
Remember Our Business is helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 03/16/19
When I entered the work “initiative” into my computer, I got a definition. When I typed “finishiative” into it, I’m told it isn’t a word. But it should be. The two words are defined as follows, initiative: the first step, the act of setting a process in motion, the ability or willingness to take the lead. Finishiative: the last step, the act of completing, the willingness to take a project or mission to its logical conclusion in optimum time. Both of these are essential to character, to growth and success in an individual, and for successful community development. Too often, folks aimlessly wander through life and end up with a load of guilt and regrets because of the many things they wanted to do but never got around to start. Others wind up with the same guilt and regrets because they had dreams, with some initiative, started many projects but never finished most of what they began.
This community can grow if our leaders will genuinely take the lead, exercise wisdom and initiative in getting work underway; if citizens involve themselves willingly to accomplish it and if all will focus on finishiative. While there are many ways to promote your community, let me suggest you look at your Chamber. Are you interested in economic development, education, tourism, developing leaders, promoting local business or improving transportation to Oregon’s Bay Area? Your Chamber has people, your friends and neighbors, working on these and more. So grab the issue important to you and come on down and join us. In the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, we are all willing to “Step UP” and make a difference.
The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 03/09/19
Top 10 reasons to join the Chamber: Number 3, Create networking opportunities.
As a business person one of the most important things you do is to get the word out about what you produce, its excellent value, your great staff and where you can be found. In today’s world they call that networking. Here are just a few of the great networking opportunities your Chamber provides.
Business after Hours takes place the last Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 pm. It’s an opportunity for you to showcase your business, your staff and your products using an open house format with food and drink. Our Ambassadors welcome your guests. There’s a short formal presentation, supplemented with tours of your operations by your staff. With turn outs which range from 40 to over 100, what a great way to connect your business to the community.
The Wednesday Business Connection is held every Wednesday from September through May at the Mill Casino. Each week has a sponsor which is featured in all the event advertising during that week. The sponsor also gives a short Business Spotlight about their operations. Generally, before the featured speaker we have an open mic enabling you to announce special sales, products new staff members or events. Lastly, we end the session each week with the drawing of business cards to door prizes provided by member businesses who are recognized for the contribution.
How about our events for networking, like the Economic Outlook Forum, the Annual Chamber Awards Banquet, the Highway 101 Clean Up Brigade, the Bowling Party or the Golf tournament?
Why not get serious about networking? Come take advantage of your Chamber opportunities.
The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 03/02/19
With March we welcome in the beginning of Spring, tons of daffodils and more visitors showing up on the South Coast. Already this month you hosted the 3A Basketball State Championships at Marshfield and North Bend high schools. So what’s next?
Coming up March 8, 9 & 10 is the 30th annual South Coast Clambake Music festival at the Mill Casino-Hotel. Listen and dance to the likes of Barn Door Slammers, Bay City Swing, The Young Bucs, Gator Nation and more. See the festival website, clambakejazz.com, for information about the event and how to get tickets.
How about a little walking, talking and sipping with your friends, old and new? March 15th, from 5 to 7 pm is the quarterly Sip & Stroll in downtown North Bend. With program and wine or beer glass in hand, guests will stroll from location to location in the charming downtown sampling wine or beer, with all the money raised will benefit a pinning ceremony for the Southwestern Oregon Community College nursing class of 2019. The event starts at Engles Furniture at 5 pm. Why don’t you check out the local restaurants for their specials and make a night of it.
Now is also the time to get ready for that mass of summer visitors we can expect. Saturday March 23rd, SOLV sponsors its spring time Great Ocean Beach Cleanup from 10 am to 1 pm, on many of our local beaches. Over the past decade, SOLV volunteers have kept more than 4,000 tons of debris from entering Oregon waterways and the Pacific Ocean. So, shake off those soggy winter memories and let’s get ready for company along our beautiful coast!
Remember Our Business is helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 02/23/19
Country singer Aaron Tippin had a song a several years ago entitled, “You got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”. Our Legislative Action Team (LAT) takes that to heart. It’s important for your Chamber to promote those things which give us a positive economic climate to grow your business and create a healthy community for your family.
The LAT has actively participated in every legislative session since 2011. In the 2018 short session, they tracked and worked the bills in support of the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) Legislative Agenda. While we have not been successful in every fight, the Chambers of Commerce in Oregon, are having an impact in Salem. The LAT, over the past few years, has developed a strong relationship with our legislators through the OSCC Chamber Day at the capitol, twice monthly teleconferences with them which we sponsor with the college, and direct contact with their offices. During the session, our Team meets as many times as necessary, each month, to be timely and effective. The 2019 long session at the legislature has already been filled with challenges for Oregon businesses and communities which the LAT, joining with other Oregon Chambers, has worked to try to resolve favorably for you. Additionally, your LAT is actively participating in many other local issues, to make a difference for you.
Too often we think if we had more time, assets or help, we could really get something done. I am reminded of an old hymn which says “To the many duties ever near you now be true. Brighten the corner where you are”. So, Chamber member if you want to have an impact give us a call and join the LAT.
Remember “our business is helping your business”. And like us on Facebook
The Chamber Minute. 02/16/19
Customer service is key to the vitality of our community. Businesses strive every day to not only meet, but exceed their customer’s needs. Have you had an outstanding customer service experience at a local store or restaurant that made you want to tell everyone about it? It’s that kind of service the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce honors each quarter with its 5 Star Customer Service Awards. The nominations will be evaluated by the Chamber’s Executive committee. Quarterly awards will be given at our weekly Wednesday Business Connection luncheon. A yearly award for outstanding customer service will be chosen from the year’s winners and given at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet. There is no guarantee, however, that there will be an award for each quarter without your nominations.
Selection criteria include, but are not limited to:
- A commitment to customer service. A consistent commitment to customer service. With demonstrable pride in, and ownership of, that organizational culture by all employees.
- Customer follow up and product satisfaction. The organization should consistently request and listen to feedback from its customers. With that information they strive to improve their service and the experience for the customer.
- Additional Insights. There is always a prompt response to customer requests and keeping to agreed-upon timelines, combined with consistent delivery and quality. Information is always available by all appropriate channels for customers, by understanding how they want to receive that material and providing it. Other key areas of consideration can include: professionalism, knowledge, dependability, attentiveness and innovation.
Nomination forms can be found on the Chamber website, oregonsbayarea.org , or stop by the BACC office in Coos Bay. They are simple to fill out, being only a single page. So, thank you for taking the time to help recognize and celebrate great businesses in our area.
Remember our business is helping your business and like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute 02/09/19
Top 10 reasons to join the Chamber: Number 2, Increase your visibility in the community.
As a business person one of the most important things you do is to get the word out about what you produce, its excellent value, your great staff and where you can be found. In today’s world they call that being visible.
As a member, your contact information is in our annual business directory. We produce 5,000 copies each year which are well distributed locally and regionally. Additionally, you are listed on our website, available to those who are seeking your products or services. We also regularly post your announcements to our Facebook page.
Why not be the focus of an evening by holding a Business after Hours at your operation, with two hours to acquaint everyone with what makes you special? Also, our Wednesday Business Connection luncheon gives you many opportunities to promote yourself. Whether it’s the open mic you can use to introduce new staff or products, door prizes provided for drawings at the end of the session or giving a business spotlight.
Visibility comes through sponsorships too. Sponsorships are highlighted in all our activity advertising. Weekly sponsorships are available for WBC. The Economic Outlook forum has numerous spots available, as does our BACC Awards banquet in January. Or maybe you would like to be a participant, bringing your team to our bowling party or golf tourney or the Highway 101 clean up.
How about becoming active in one of our committees like Tourism, Education or Business Development? Not only are you visible in the community, but you are making it a better place to live.
So, come on down and join the team today, for a better tomorrow.
Remember our business is helping your business, and like us on Facebook.
Wow, did we have a great evening this past Saturday with the Bay Area Chamber Awards Banquet—Step UP! Wonderful food, unique entertainment featuring a return of the Chamber Pots, and a variety of awards and recognitions which truly make this a community celebration.
Citizen of the year is an honor given to a member of our community who, by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources, has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2018 that award was given to Jennifer Groth. Besides serving 8 years on the Coos Bay City Council, she actively stepped in many other tough issues important to the community, which included the gas tax increase proposal, the Community Enhancement Plan and county wide tourism. Jennifer has made volunteer service a way of life.
The Business of the Year award is given to a business that has exhibited excellence in products and customer service; contributed time, manpower and resources to community improvement projects; and excelled in employee relations and training. The 2018 award went to 7 Devils Brewing Company, honoring their excellence in business and strong commitment to the community.
Chamber Member of the Year is given to that member, who through their efforts, has carried us to a new level of community service and impact. In 2018 This honor went to Deena Gisholt. She has been a red coated Ambassador, on the Leadership Coos steering committee, an active Membership team organizer, part of the Chamber Board of Directors and an officer for several years. A strong supporter of the Chamber, Deena also encourages her staff to be involved.
Additionally, Nicole Ault, a first-grade teacher at Blossom Gulch Elementary School, was recognized as Educator of the Year. The City Councils of Coos Bay and North Bend received the Community Award as a dedicated group of volunteers doing difficult and sometimes thankless work to keep local government on track for their citizens.
What a great evening! See you at next year’s Banquet on the last Saturday of January.
Remember, our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute. 1/26/19
For the past several months we have talked about the various teams, activities and opportunities the Chamber is involved in. But why be a Chamber member? Periodically, I ask that question of our directors, who are your friends and neighbors. Here’s a little of what they had to say
- I am active with the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce because I feel strongly that the business community supports one another and works to encourage the growth of our region. We must get back on a sustainable foundation where we are better able to provide for ourselves.
- I belong to the Chamber because I like the forward movement I am seeing. We have moved from a quaint networking group to building a business advocacy powerhouse. I feel we are making a difference in our area. Our voice is being heard and we are actively representing our 550 members. We are building connections with key people and businesses to help move this area forward. We are doing this all while we continue to build our membership providing those key networking opportunities that strengthen our team.
- I am a chamber member because: 1) I like to stay connected to my peers and important community issues. It makes me feel like I have a voice and can help not only my community, but also my own business. 2) I appreciate the networking and reciprocity that occurs between chamber members. 3) I enjoy participating in community events (social outlet). Being involved allows me to be aware of all the events and participate as I am able.
- I believe that as a business owner, I have a responsibility to invest my time and money back into the community that supports me and my family. As the community flourishes, so will my business.
- It is simple. We are stronger, have more influence and clout when we work together. We will each be successful when we are all successful.
So, if you want to make a difference for your business and your community, join us today.
Remember our business is helping your business. And like us on Facebook.
The Chamber Minute. 01/19/19
A momentous movie, to some of my generation, was Smokey and the Bandit. It introduced us to the Pontiac Trans Am. For over 25 years following that movie, I collected articles, pictures and books on the TA. I watched its styles and horsepower change. Finally, I found a late model in perfect shape, low miles and a great price. To everyone’s surprise, I brought it. At long last, a dream realized.
Over the years, your Chamber has been the source of many dreams realized. The Tourism committee began with a focus to extend the seasons people come to visit us. They also believed tourism could become a significant part of our local economy. Their success has proved them right. Leadership Coos was formed to educate community members to the many facets of our area. It also had a goal to help produce the next set of community leaders. Today you find its graduates leading local business, government and agencies. The Wednesday Business Connection Team (WBC) stages a weekly business or community related forum, which draws over 45 participants each week, from September through May. This provides folks networking opportunities, current issue information and political insights. Besides regularly updating the program offerings to be timely and important for you, last year the team redesigned the sponsorship opportunity from monthly to weekly to enable more businesses to have the chance to promote their operations.
So, who will be the next “Wednesday Business Connection”, the new dream realized, of this Chamber year? Our community has many needs and opportunities that you, as a chamber member, can make happen. Come on down and we will find the Team for you.
Remember our business is helping your Business. And like us on facebook.