two champagne glasses against holiday lights and fireworks - new year celebration

As far back as I can remember, there was at least one TV news station that included a year-end recap segment. It was a video montage of happy pictures, important events, images of celebrities who passed, and all with an appropriate music score. While not as dramatic, I did something similar by looking through my notes of the past year. 

Because the virus and shutdown impacted the entire world, the Southwest Valley Chamber made resources and information available to everyone. You might remember the federal and state governments sent out information quickly and often. The chamber created the COVID Resource Center as an information hub for the public. It had news; guidelines for prevention; help for employees suddenly out of work and parents who turned into homeschool teachers; and much more. 

The Support Local catalog gave every business within a 12-mile radius the ability to show the community they were open and available. There was a lot more that was done, and I’m proud of the chamber staff for their work and effort. 

That was then and this is now, and I’m looking toward making a better future. We started over a month ago with the launch of the redesigned tourism website, VisitSouthwestValley.com. We want to make sure anyone planning a trip or vacation will consider visiting our community. There are people traveling now and more arriving soon.

Major League Baseball’s Spring Training begins Feb. 27 at the Goodyear Ballpark, NASCAR has races coming to Phoenix Raceway March 12-14, and our community’s amazing annual festivals are great reasons to visit the Southwest Valley. Tourists bring money into the community, and our economy could use the boost.

Another way the Southwest Valley Chamber will help invigorate our local economy is with the newly launched business-to-consumer digital platform ShopSWValley.com. Consumers can sign up for free to receive daily deals by email. For business owners and managers, this program is a digital- and push-marketing service. The chamber wants to make sure local money is spent locally. 

A dozen chamber members volunteered to lead our Business Development Committee. Their focus is to bring the next level of professional opportunities to our region. This includes enhancing the chamber’s Skill Builders professional training series. It’s an investment in the people who work here, which is one of our community’s greatest strengths. The chamber wants to make sure our people have the needed skills going into the future.

There’s no reset when the clock hits midnight on Jan. 1. We’ll continue to have challenges, adapt accordingly, and strive to make things better. Isn’t that something we try to do every day? 

On behalf of Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce, I wish you and your family a prosperous, healthy and happy New Year!