GMSP! Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce in business for business

July 01, 2009
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce is in business for business, those attending Good Morning Santa Paula learned at the June meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce is in business for business, those attending Good Morning Santa Paula learned at the June meeting. Ag Consultants’ Joanne and Al Guilin hosted the Chamber-sponsored event held at Logsdon’s at the Airport.“Your Chamber is out there every day to do everything we can to support Santa Paula’s business community,” said President/CEO John Blanchard, who just completed his second year of leading the organization. Blanchard recently returned from the Sacramento-based 2009 Business Summit that drew city and community “leaders across the board” to “let legislators know what the business community feels” about the crisis stricken state budget and action on same.Blanchard said about 25 business leaders from Ventura County attended the summit, which included visits “with our representative Tony Strickland” and a state affordable housing agency head. The message was “very clear that the cost of doing business in California is very high, ranks 6th in the nation,” and the tax burden on businesses is 24 percent above most other states.Only two other states exceed California’s corporate tax rate, and Blanchard noted the impacts on small business resulting from the higher costs make for a bigger hit. Manufacturing has decreased “dramatically,” and the state’s unemployment rate exceeds 11 percent.
Those in the $68,000 average salary range are leaving the state, while the income segment showing growth are those in the $48,000 annual salary bracket, the result of higher paying companies leaving the state. “Our message” to legislators and a representative of the governor was state policy must make economic growth a central goal,” as well as the elimination of “job killer” policies and mandates.Blanchard said the Chamber is planning a series of seminars for small businesses, and he introduced attorney Melissa Sayer who will oversee a seminar on different facets of the law as they apply to small business.The discovery that the Chamber didn’t have an official cap with its logo led Blanchard to order a prototype and caps - “very well constructed” - are now being manufactured in China. Blanchard also announced that interior designer Susan Kulwiec is offering input into the decoration and color scheme of Chamber offices at the Depot - which has been undergoing a major renovation - and Kulwiec “Is going to help us merchandise the gift shop so we will have some nice display cases and hopefully more sales.”The Chamber, he added, is looking forward to moving back into its long time headquarters soon.

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