The need to balance the short term (delight your customers, keep expenses down and make sure your employees are satisfied) with the long term (making sure that the business environment we are in is conducive to growth) is a daunting task. The Chamber aims to assist businesses on both fronts. From the short-term perspective, our events that help connect businesses to one another number almost 100 each year. In addition, our training component, much of which are free to members, is growing all the time. Most recently, our social media class taught by a Doña Ana Community College instructor, had more than 40 attendees.
Our seven annual update luncheons — which cover the topics of education, healthcare, spaceport, military, the city and county, along with the governor’s yearly update — average almost 175 attendees. We plan to add a federal component this fall, with Congressman Steve Pearce addressing our members on what is happening in Washington D.C., and how it will impact us here in New Mexico.
That is the easy work. We have been doing it for years.
The long-term view is where we really earn your investment. Whether or not you attend a single event this year, we are working nonstop for you and your business. All of our local government entities are working on major projects right now. Here’s a partial list:
City of Las Cruces
• “Realizing El Paseo:” a total revamp of that road
• A new landscape ordinance: how much of your property must be set aside for landscaping
• An arroyo management plan: what you must do if you wan to develop in an area with an adjacent arroyo
• The next round of Public Safety Impact Fees, and how those fees will be calculated
• Reviewing the January 2015 minimum- wage increase, and how the next increase in 2017 will be rolled out
• And kicking off “Reimagining Amador,” the first phase of what “Realizing El Paseo” has become
Doña Ana County
• The Plan 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and its accompanying Unified Development Code. That’s 450 pages of text to review and understand.
• Finalizing its long-term local and state transportation plans
• Finish the North Main Street project
• Planning for their 2017 Valley Drive project Make no mistake; while there is something good in each one of these projects and none are intended to be detrimental to business, they all help to form what this area will be like for development and growth in the coming years. Add those items to the GRT increases recently adopted by both the city and county and you can see how challenging it is stay on top of all the changes that business must absorb.
Now, add the time necessary to attend all the meetings and read all the reports that lead up to the decisions on these topics and it should be easy to see where we are focusing our efforts and why we need your support more than ever. If you are interested in hearing more about where we are and where we are going, please contact us at 575-5241968.
Bill Allen, President/CEO Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce