Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 61

And finally, a more fundamental question: Why are chambers important? “We are the voice of business. We are the advocates to promote and protect busi- ness, and we’re very active in supporting good legislation and opposing bad legis- lation.” “We can help with regulatory problems, provide education for business owners and their staff, advocate for them at city council or even state and federal levels, and so many other services.” “We are supporting families. The busi- — Laurel Brent-Bumb, El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce — Angela Perry, Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce ing a lifelong dream to be their own “Chambers are like an insurance pol- icy. You never know you are going to need them until you do. Example: A member construction company never thought they needed to be certificated as a minority-owned business. And then came the downturn in the economy, when suddenly their private company business was drying up — and they needed to get public con- tracts to replace their private company business. We helped them get certified and connected them to all of our member companies that had supplier diversity programs. Because of our help, they grew from $300K-$400K per contract to $2 million to $3 million per contract.” business is to provide better opportu- “I’m hearing from businesses, ‘I have projects I can’t do because I don’t have enough bodies to do the work.’ I’ve got communities that are falling further behind, that are being priced out of their neighborhoods, that are saying we really need access to careers and not just jobs. Having a gap is unacceptable. The beauty of what a chamber gets to do is you sit in the middle, and I hear both sides, so we’re able to convene those conversations and make real change.” — Amanda Blackwood, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce — Pat Fong Kushida, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce nesses that we work with — whether established by immigrants, or started as a second act, or by someone fulfill- boss — the main reason they are in nities for their families.” — Cathy Rodriguez, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce “We don’t just host mixers and ribbon cuttings! We are a full-service chamber — regional advocacy and influence with our own PAC with an eye on workforce development and housing. We aren’t your grandparents’ chamber.” — Robin Trimble, Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce Jeff Wilser is the author of “Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life.” His work has appeared in print or online in GQ, New York Magazine, Esquire and Men- tal Floss, among others. On Twitter @Jeff Wilser. March 2019 | 63