I recently heard a comment in passing that the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce only covers businesses in Grand Junction. I thought it was a pretty odd thing to say considering our official name clearly includes the word AREA. And, frankly, I was somewhat offended that anyone would think our focus was so narrow or limited. Our membership and our services do not stop at the city limits and never have. In fact, we have members from all over Mesa County as well as other parts of the Western Slope and the State of Colorado. Our business model, like many of yours, is not based on an artificial geographic boundary but rather on bringing together businesses with common interests in building the local economy.
And just like many of you, during the pandemic and economic crisis, many of our services have expanded to businesses that may not (yet) be members and our reach has become even broader. Our no cost webinars, for instance, have provided helpful information to over 125 businesses that are not currently members. Our Take Out Toolkit listed restaurants from Loma to Palisade and beyond. Our ongoing advocacy efforts have benefited every business. The informational candidate forum the Chamber produced that was broadcast live on KKCO-TV and KJCT-TV for the Mesa County Commissioner District One Republican Primary was seen by close to 3,000 individuals and voters across the county.
The Chamber mission is to be the voice of business and promote economic growth period! We don’t add any limiting boundaries to it. Heck, we don’t even say we do this just for Chamber members! We can’t. We can’t be true to that mission without serving everyone.
For those of you who are members and have supported us for months, years and in some cases, decades I say thank you. You are not just helping to grow your own businesses. You are helping your neighbors access needed services as well, particularly now when so many businesses are vulnerable. Because you have supported us, we have been here to support you and them during this crisis.
We are hopeful that as the economy improves and we have shown the value of a strong Chamber of Commerce that some of these businesses that are not yet members will choose to also support the work we do. Over 70% of our operating budget comes from the private sector that we serve and we are proud of that number. We are indeed a Chamber for All!