As the oldest and largest volunteer organization in San Luis Obispo County, the Chamber of Commerce has been devoted to enhancing the economic and community wellbeing of the Central Coast for more than a century.
- Celebrated 25 years of Leadership SLO with the help of more than 200 grads
- Welcomed a record 84,197 people in our Visitor Center
- Formed strong collaborative partnership for housing work with EVC and HBACC
- Benefitted from more than 5,865 hours of volunteer support
- Had a banner year in tourism promotion: Potential reach of tourism PR placements was 730,634,941
Fostered a strong regional economy:
- Advocated for Chamber positions regarding key guiding documents that will impact business and the local economy including the City of San Luis Obispo‘s Land Use and Circulation Element, its Housing Element, the Climate Action Plan, implementation of the Economic Development Strategic Plan and a countywide Tourism Marketing District.
- Analyzed and took positions on 11 ballot propositions – including support for two school district bonds and the SLO County Self-Help Initiative – and created a 2016 Voter Guide.
- Provided thoughtful commentary and insights into the region’s business interests and concerns through dozens of interviews with local, state, national and international media.
- Generated tens of thousands of referrals to local businesses through the Chamber’s Visitor Center, membership directory and online business directory at slochamber.org.
- Strengthened partnerships focused on economic development programs with Cal Poly and Cuesta College.
- Continued to support the entrepreneurial innovations of the SLO HotHouse.
Advocated on issues that impact our members:
- Attended County Board of Supervisors, City Council, Planning Commission, Airport Land Use Commission and the Local Revenue Measure Advisory Committee meetings, more than 130 in total, to promote our members’ interests and address impacts to the business community.
- Tracked developing policies and ongoing legislation that affect doing business such as becoming a Self-Help county.
- Hosted the Annual State of the State luncheon featuring State treasurer and gubernatorial candidate John Chiang, Los Angeles Times’ Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers and Transportation California Executive Director Will Kempton.
- Hosted six Legislative Brown Bag Lunches with key community leaders to discuss important issues affecting the business community.
- Held forums for the San Luis Obspo City Council Candidates, County Supervisor Candidates and State Assembly candidates to inform our membership on the different priorities and perspectives.
- Worked alongside the Economic Vitality Corporation and the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast to create a 30-page “Housing Policy Solutions” report that was shared with County administrators and was included in the “Affordable Housing – Policies and Programs” staff report that was presented to the Board of Supervisors.
Promoted our region:
- Provided personal customer service to more than 84,197 walk-in guests to the Visitor Center, assisted an additional 5,000 people over the phone and 1,800 by email.
- Led the city’s public relations efforts securing well over 100 placements in more than 50 national publications, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Fodor’s, USA Today, Rand McNally, The Guardian UK and PeterGreenberg.com with a potential reach of tourism of 730,634,941.
- Worked with the editor of Livability.com to secure SLO as one of the Top 100 best places to live.
- Worked with local media to promote more than 25 local and regional events including: Ballet Theatre, Central Coast Children’s Choir, Central Coast Writers Conference, Festival Mozaic, GALA Pride week, San Luis Obispo Jewish Film Festival, Obon Festival and many more.
- Improved opportunities to showcase the membership in the Visitor Center, keeping residents and visitors aware of lodging, dining and event options in the region.
Provided networking and visibility opportunities:
- Produced the largest business-to-business tradeshow on the Central Coast, EXPO at the Expo, attracting thousands of attendees.
- Provided high-value business-to-business networking to more than 14,000 business representatives via annual programs and events including Good Morning San Luis Obispo and regular monthly Membership Mixers.
- Donated more than 5,865 hours by Chamber volunteers to help ensure better member experience and successful Chamber events.
- Produced an effective Visitors Guide with updated layout and editorial content aimed at highlighting member businesses.
- Trained 36 business and community members to be the region’s future leaders through the year-long Leadership SLO program, building on a foundation of more than 800 alumni.