By Andrea H. Reay
Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
In 2018, the Chamber Board of Directors approved the organization’s first-ever strategic plan. This plan is a crucial step in our organizational development as it provides us with a sense of direction, actionable and measurable goals, and a clear definition of our mission and vision.
From the process of creating this plan came a promise that the most important thing for our organization is to serve our community. This spirit of service defines who we are and how we approach economic and community development within our region. However, we often found ourselves stuck between wanting and needing to provide services to businesses and individuals, and not being able to do so because they were not members of our organization. As a private membership-based non-profit, we rely heavily on our members investing in our organization to do our work. We grapple, like all nonprofits, to balance what we want to do for our community and the resources and capacity available to us.
It became apparent that if we were to truly live by our vision, to be a leader in the community and the communities we serve, we needed to take a courageous and audacious step forward and provide FREE universal memberships so that there was no barrier for small businesses to access our benefits and resources.
Our small businesses are the backbone of our regional economy. They are the lifeblood of our community and impact more than just the bottom line for our community. They are our community. Through the removal of our “pay to play” function here at our Chamber, it is our sincere hope and belief that our region will continue to grow, economic equity will be forthcoming, and all will benefit.
We are committed to growing and supporting the business community. Through educational programs, networking opportunities, business resources, and strategic partnerships, we empower businesses to succeed.
We hope you will join us in this work. Join today as a Universal Member or become a sponsor of this unique program encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting small businesses in our community. Together we are stronger; together we are Seattle Southside Strong.
For more information about membership and the benefits and resources we provide, please visit our website http://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/member-benefits , send an email to our Membership and Programs Manager, Renatta Emerson at [email protected]  or give our office a call (206) 575-1633.
Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.
For more information on the Chamber, including member benefits and resources, please visit www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com .