By Denise Ortuno-Neil
There is no doubt the Coachella Valley is growing exponentially, especially in the east part of the valley. You can see it every day just by taking a drive down Hwy 111. To help support this growth, the cities of La Quinta, Indio and Coachella are looking to the future and have come up with a plan to join forces with their Chambers of Commerce in order to strengthen new and existing business relations.
This concept of merging chambers has been a blooming idea for some years, explained Vice President of the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce, Katie Stice. The merging makes sense, as it will provide stronger support for local businesses and will combine resources from each chamber, creating a sort of “Super Chamber”. Their effort is all about the businesses and how to make them better. It was the Board members of the La Quinta and Indio chambers who took it from a possible concept to what is now a solid plan of action, “It is exciting to work with forward thinkers and progressive ideas in this industry,” said Stice.
As of now, there are nine chambers in the Coachella Valley. That means, in order for a business to take advantage of what each chamber provides, the business would essentially have to join several chambers, which can be costly. Having the three east valley chambers merge, would alleviate the burden of cost for the business and maximize the membership benefits. Valuable assistance such as networking, events, advertising opportunities and sponsorship would all increase.
Besides the cost factor for membership, another bonus for the merging of the chambers would be the collective resources that the new chamber will possess. “Our Chambers of Commerce all do great work, and we duplicate many great services that we can now combine while also combining our resources,” says Stice. Events such as mixers, educational luncheons, community festivals and workshops would all be amplified. The talents of all who make the chambers work will be brought to new heights as they will be able to pull from one another increasing the benefits for business owners. Campaigns such as Shop Local, Shop Small and Restaurant Week will gain unprecedented momentum.
Other benefits of the merger include: a stronger local economy impact, combined influential legislative voice, double networking opportunities, additional exposure through print and web, additional staff support and knowledge, significant community involvement and sponsorship opportunities, strength in numbers as the largest chamber of commerce valley-wide and lastly, efficiency in staff, board and business districts.
The new name of the merged chamber looks to be called, the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce. The collective chambers have been working closely together to finalize the implementation of the new chamber with a targeted completion date as soon as July 1, 2016.
Stice, who has over 9 years of chamber experience in the Coachella Valley, was appointed Vice President of the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce at the beginning of 2016. She has already led the charge executing events such as the Taste of La Quinta, Career Builder Challenge kickoff event and informational booth, Hot Rod and Custom Car Show, plus the building of classes, workshops, State of the City, Ambassador Program and more. She is accredited with both her IOM (US Chamber of Commerce: Institute for Organizational Management) and ACE (California Chamber: Accredited Chamber Executive) making her an invaluable asset to her current chamber post and to the eventual new merged chamber.
Her role in the newly formed chamber will be one of serving on the executive and management levels.
It is estimated that the population growth in the Coachella Valley will get to 500,000 by 2020, and reach over 1 million well before the end of the 2000’s. That means many more businesses will be started and those business owners will need support to make their endeavors successful. The Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce will be able to provide the kind of support that our valley businesses need moving forward to the future.