Mayor Danny Ortega Jr. was this month's guest speaker at the Chamber luncheon held Thursday, Aug. 2. While sharing his vision for Douglas with chamber members, Ortega spoke of the results of the previous goal-setting meeting of the city administration and staff that stressed the need to improve and expand the Port of Entry while presenting the possibility of a new, completely separate port dealing with commercial traffic.
The Mayor mentioned that the Mexican Consulate has indicated the possibility of relocating into the downtown area.
“We are currently looking at some opportunities there, and we want to see what the city can do for them,” he said.
The city administration and staff are evaluating city owned assets such as land and buildings that may be sold or leased to benefit both downtown development and the city's revenues.
Ortega also stressed the need for the city to better partner with local entities including the Chamber, Cochise College, Southeast Arizona Medical Center, and Cochise County.
The mayor commended the Chamber for their very positive "Shop Douglas" campaign and local advertising efforts.
Susan Kramer, Chamber President updated the members on the coupon booklet. There were seven businesses that participated in the booklet. Booklets were given to new teachers and also the new Border Patrol/Customs liaison. “We cannot expect mass interest right away, but this is a good start,” she said.
The chamber and KDAP will be featuring a business of the week. Membership includes radio advertising on KDAP as member of the week. The requirements are be a current member of the chamber with dues paid current.
The Chamber is also looking to use PayPal to pay dues and for new membership sign ups.
Kramer shared the treasures report with the members; as of July 19 Chamber had $6,025 in the account.
Bisbee Chamber is looking at doing a mixer with Douglas’ chamber in the near future. Kramer also reminded members of the political forum that will be held on October 2, location to be announced.
Fernando Betancourt was elected to the Douglas Chamber of Commerce on July 3; Betancourt is the owner of El Chef Restaurant and the Pastor of Church of God.
El Chef has been in Douglas for 15 years, they started their business on Pan America then moved to 8th Street and finally to a larger location on 11th Street and A.
“I wanted to become a part of my community in any shape or form, and one way to start is to part of the chamber,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for the chamber to start fresh, it will opening up new avenues of communication and friendships with small business, the city and to get more people involved so they can be aware of what the chamber is doing and we are all about.”
Bentacourt looks forward to working with the new board and president.
“I’m willing to work were ever they put me,” he said.
Douglas Chamber of Commerce along with the City of Douglas will be co-hosting the Arizona Town Hall meeting on August 16 from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Douglas Golf Course/Clubhouse cost is $15 please RSVP at www.aztownhall.org/CommunityOutreachPrograms.asp or call (602)252-9600.
The next Chamber meeting will be Sept. 6 at the Douglas Unified School District Administration office.