Challenges 2023: Burnout, Inflation, Relevancy, Recruiting New Generation

What is the biggest challenge you see facing your chamber in 2023?

Andrea Reay
Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber

I’ve always been someone who tries to look at challenges as opportunities. We grow as people and as organizations when we’re challenged, and maybe even a little uncomfortable.

When I think about the challenges our chamber faces this year, I think our greatest challenge is overcoming exhaustion and burnout. How do we balance serving the needs of the community while also the needs of our own organization?

Investing in professional development, wellness programs, improving our own culture; these are the investments we must make in ourselves and our team so we can continue to do the hard work our community needs us to do.

Bo Hellams
Bullhead Area (AZ) Chamber

For the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce, we are evaluating everything we offer against other chambers across the nation so that we can maintain relevancy in our own community of business owners.

As 2022 came to a close, we audited our membership in-depth. It was truly eye-opening to realize that an entire generation of business owners have already exited the workforce for retirement or are working their way into retirement.

Much like the issues that employers are seeing with the labor force and incentives that are now being used to attract employees, we as chamber executives must adapt to a new generation of business owners, maintain their attention and create a portfolio of business solutions that leave them wanting to be part of our organizations.

As staff and I work our way through 2023, it will continue to be my goal to stay valuable to a generation that truly knows very little about the strengths and capabilities of a chamber. We will stay on the gas to maintain relevancy on every front for business owners and our community.

Kelly Hall
Longview (TX) Chamber

Problems create platforms. The rocky economy, extreme political fragmentation and global tensions provide great opportunity for our chamber.

Our biggest challenge begins with the heart. As we onboard new volunteers and grow leaders, it is becoming more problematic to move individuals from being politically correct to doing what is right. I believe I have responsibility to help our team improve on communicating our values and our why.

As an advocacy organization that believes in and is charged with protecting the free enterprise system, we must remain focused on our message. The programs we produce and publications we utilize (whether online or in print) must be fully aligned with our message — our platform.

Bret Schanzenbach
Carlsbad (CA) Chamber

Our three biggest issues we are facing in 2023 are inflation, expansion and retention.

Inflation is driving our hard costs up and we have to keep increasing our staff members’ compensation so we don’t lose them and they can keep paying their bills. As you seek to pass those costs on, members and vendors complain.

There is also the never-ending need to expand our services to grow our value proposition. This mostly involves providing value first, financially capitalizing on it second, without guarantees of course.

And membership retention is a challenge. Residual COVID effects exist, plus new economic hiccups that are now showing up. Challenges exist, opportunities abound.