Promising Year Ahead as Chambers Embrace Digital Solutions, Help Revitalize Communities

As 2021 comes to a close, what is your outlook for your chamber in 2022?

Ramiro Urias
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Brawley (CA)

With new emerging technology and evolving workforce trends, it is vital that in 2022, the chamber continues pivoting and restructuring to adapt and design solutions and services for new problems that businesses will face moving forward. During this recovery process, the chamber will also focus on guiding and empowering local businesses to achieve safe reopening, meeting state and local regulations. 2022 marks a year of opportunity for our chamber and we are confident that our efforts to revitalize and grow our local economy will foster a healthy economic and social environment in our region.

Debbie Braun
Aspen (CO) Chamber Resort Association

Daily challenges are still present for many of us and the local businesses we serve. Add supply chain issues, and the loss of workforce, with more than a dash of feeling underappreciated and overworked.

We need to make 2022 the year of the reset. Take a moment to be retrospective and figure out what worked and what doesn’t anymore. Reset priorities, reset time management, reset expectations. Let’s relinquish what doesn’t work for us anymore. It’s time to double down and reinvent the work we do, re-energize our spirits and renew our passions. Reset yourself and your chamber. You won’t regret it.

Steve McLellan, ICD.D
Saskatchewan (SK) Chamber

“Every river worth running is going to have some rapids.”

That’s a line I have used for years to describe the constant — and often challenging — route forward. The reality of the chamber world, much like the businesses that we represent, is that calm waters do happen, but not every day. And for most, they have not happened often throughout the past 21 months.

However, I anticipate that 2022 will be a year of great success for chambers. I believe we have proved our purpose and our value thousands of times over in the last two years. The businesses that come forward in the next year will join in and support our efforts. With in-person events starting up again, it will be the first time many people will attend a chamber event. Let’s all make them memorable.

John Rolfe
Wichita (KS) Regional Chamber

Our 2021 has been a successful year, as we continue to rebuild our business economy following the historic COVID-19 pandemic. As we look forward to 2022, we are seeing growth in our business community in all business sizes and expect that growth to continue.

However, for continued growth, we know there is a need for available workforce and talent. At the beginning of 2022, our legislative session will start, where our focus will be on collaboration and advocating for a strong business climate, which will allow our chamber members and business community to grow and thrive. Although the pandemic continues to present challenges, our 2022 outlook is strong, and our chamber’s initiatives will help provide for business growth and success.

Eli Matthews, IOM
The Chamber of Medford & Jackson County (OR)

My outlook is optimistic because I see opportunities for growth. However, as leaders, our outlook is impacted by our choices and actions. We could choose to survive or thrive. I believe chambers that embrace digital solutions will thrive.

The pandemic accelerated our use of and reliance upon technology. Chambers had to quickly implement digital solutions, which highlighted organizations’ operations, systems and functions, in addition to areas for improvement. I believe many of our services will move to digital platforms. Chambers that embrace this will thrive, and those that shun it will remain in survival mode. The choice is ours.

Julie Pastrick
Greater Flagstaff (AZ) Chamber

We’re coming out of 18+ months of strain on our labor force and supply chain, and still are in a housing crunch here in Flagstaff. Our goal is to build up our base of support and grow the larger investor portfolio. Free enterprise and the value that “business drives our economy” needs a lift.

You’d be amazed at how many government entities just don’t understand that businesses employ families that have kids in school, that are our neighbors and that are the heart and soul of our community. Hiring a second salesperson, telling more member stories on our new website and starting back up ad sales for our publications and website could help boost our revenue streams that were distressed in 2020–21.

We’ll play offense in 2022 and focus on local and state issues that promote business growth and oppose the ones that are barriers to business success. A laser vision on leading with ideas that will build our economy will be key. Failing and unpopular government solutions to business problems will be challenged and alternate solutions offered.

Our Chamber Foundation, a vehicle to create change in the community, is poised for growth, raising revenue to support the chamber’s mission. Data is being dubbed the new oil. Happy New Year to all!

Ryn Herrmann
Los Alamos (NM) Chamber

It’s been another tough year for our members still recovering from the effects of COVID and continuing to face hiring challenges, inventory shortages, inflation, and more. Despite the changing landscape, we have many reasons to be positive about small business in Los Alamos!

New businesses are popping up, including the newly launched Los Alamos Retail Accelerator program, run by the Chamber and MainStreet programs. We had three entrepreneurs successfully open for business in a holiday pop-up shop! They’re open for six weeks, test-driving their business concepts, and all hope to find a permanent location in Los Alamos! A half-dozen other entrepreneurs successfully completed the Accelerator program as well but are still fine-tuning their concepts to hopefully one day launch in the community.

Three new businesses make a big difference in the small community of Los Alamos. Due to programs like the Retail Accelerator, the Los Alamos Chamber leads the way in supporting our business community. We are optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for our members.