Eight local chambers of commerce met in Bisbee Feb. 2 to discuss the specific needs of their member businesses. The outcome of this meeting was the development of the Southeastern AZ Rural Chambers Alliance.
The Southeastern AZ Rural Chamber Alliance formed and had its first meeting last month. Those in attendance, back row from left, included Kathleen Gomez, Douglas V.P.; Nancy Jacobsen, Bisbee Exec. Dir.; Carlos Valenzuela, Douglas Pres.; Bob Mucci, Benson/San Pedro Exec. Dir.; Patrick K. Greene, Tombstone Exec. Dir.; and front row: Norman “Britt” Hannah, Graham County Pres.; Nancy-Jean Welker, Bowie Pres.; Ernie & Bobbie Blandin, Bowie members; and Kathy Smith, Willcox Exec. Dir.
The formation of this alliance to meet unique needs of local area businesses is a natural outgrowth of each group determining independently that state and federal chamber of commerce groups simply are not equipped to help with the challenges facing rural businesses.
The needs of metropolitan area businesses are of necessity to the consuming interest of these larger groups, leaving rural businesses with little or no benefit to being part of these entities. The Southeast AZ Rural Chamber Alliance will cross-promote events helping to drive more business to each area and increase the economic growth of the area as a whole. The seven initial members agreed to meet on a quarterly basis, communicate about events and to share mutual issues.
Robert Mucci is the Executive Director Benson/San Pedro Valley Chamber of Commerce.