Calendar, economic activity, bring promise of spring

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Mar 16


Calendar, economic activity, bring promise of spring

Posted by Anonymous

Calendar, economic activity, bring promise of spring

The most recent snowfall of this long, strange winter is abating as I write this month's President’s Message. Once again I am reminded that best-laid plans, and calendars, can't begin to compete with the forces of nature. And yet, we must continue to plan and to trust the calendar that tells us spring will arrive, despite 3 inches of snow on March 13. The same kind of trust could be placed in another big and unpredictable force in our lives: The Economy.

Though it has been shrouded in a persistent dark cloud for far too long, The Economy does offer an occasional glimpse of sun in between the wintry financial gales that have swept away some of our plans and many months of our calendars. When, we ask, will The Economy turn from winter to spring? The recent spike in oil prices and another drop in home values offer little encouragement that things are getting better. But, then, maybe we're not looking hard enough to find a silver lining in the latest dark clouds.

More people are finding jobs, according to the last three national employment reports. Revenue to the state actually improved, after nearly two years of negative reports. And then there is Boeing, selling lots of airplanes and making plans to continue building them in Renton and Everett for many years to come. Heck, there is even a mega-millionaire who wants to bring professional basketball and hockey to Seattle by building a new arena with an enormous chunk of his own money. That's a pretty impressive vote of confidence in the local economy.

All of these things are positive indicators of better times. But we know that much remains to be done. Our Chamber of Commerce is still feeling the sting of the economic storm. Some of our members are struggling; a few have even decided not to rejoin the Chamber this year. Money is tight and while we understand the need to watch every penny, we hope that our members and our prospective members will see the Chamber as a piece of that silver lining that eventually will evaporate the remnants of the Great Recession and reflect some well-deserved sunshine on us all. The Chamber works on behalf of its members every day, connecting them to resources that strengthen their business and our community.

A focus for our Chamber this year is to develop a marketing plan and create supporting materials and resources that can be used by the Chamber, its members and the City of Maple Valley to attract companies that can bring jobs, as well as services and products, to the Maple Valley-Black Diamond community. The Chamber, thanks to its supportive members, is paying a professional marketing firm to create the materials and help craft a marketing plan. First drafts of the plan and materials are under way.

More local jobs translate into other benefits for businesses and the greater community. Our community already has a well-earned reputation as being a great place to live, as Family Circle Magazine discovered last summer when it named Maple Valley as one of the 10 Best Towns for Families. Now we must take the next step and provide more opportunities to people who want to live here, play here AND work here.

As our annual membership drive nears its conclusion and as we look forward to our next big Chamber event, the 10th annual Hooked on Fishing Derby at Lake Wilderness April 28, I want to thank our members for their persistence and courage during the Great Recession. You’re an inspiration to us all as we look forward to the next step in our community's development. You are our silver lining.


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