The Importance of Our Chambers of Commerce

Guest Correspondence

BY CHRISTINE ROBINSON SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY OCT 19, 2019

The Argus Foundation is a 501 (C)(6) just like a Chamber of Commerce. But we are not a Chamber of Commerce.  We focus solely on public policy including policy education. Our Chambers locally provide very important services to the business community including membership services, professional training, concierge services through business, leadership training, and visitor information. 

Our Chambers are so very important to our community. The Argus Foundation believes that strong Chambers make a strong community. We are lucky to have great dynamic leadership at our Chambers across the county right now.

In Sarasota, the Sarasota Chamber is hitting it out of the park with CareerEdge in linking businesses with job training and doing it in an efficient way while fulfilling the greatest need in economic development. The Sarasota Chamber is also the de facto go-to for the business community trying to get help through the various government regulations and processes. They are filling an important help desk void that government and other entities have been unable to fill.  

The North Port Chamber of Commerce has seen an explosion of membership and that chamber has grown-up into a chamber you would expect of the largest city in Sarasota County. They have had several Leadership North Port classes and are making a conscious effort to be more involved outside of their border in the county at-large. They understand that county policy affects city business.

The Venice Chamber has created an entrepreneurial exchange series which features among other programs, the WEW initiative, Women Empowering Women. They are hosting leadership and networking panels and featuring some of our strong businesswomen in the community for other women to learn from.

The Siesta Key Chamber serves as an important visitor hub on our beach itself. Many of our chambers are visitor hubs, but the Siesta Key Chamber focuses on our number one tourist attraction in the county and makes sure that the millions who visit are informed and well-cared for.

There is not enough space in this column to get into all of the various chambers we have in the county which vary by geography, ethnicity, and heritage. They are an economic development resource that are underappreciated by our various local governments. Frequently, they pick up the slack when the government lets up its foot on the economic development accelerator pedal during good times, which is happening right now.

Never complacent in their missions and always giving back to our communities outside of business, we are grateful for their presence and for incubating our economy. 

The Argus Foundation thanks our partner chambers. We see what you are doing for our economy and we understand how hard you are working to make our county a great one. 

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation.

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