In 2015 the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce continued to focus on business development, advocacy, and promotion. With this focus we built programs assisting the newest entrepreneur to the long standing businesses. It has been an exciting year with new ventures building on the past. With a continued focus on building a better Manhattan Beach and helping our businesses grow and prosper the state of the chamber is stronger than ever.
Helping businesses grow and prosper is a great responsibility. 2015 has led to the development of amazing programs in Manhattan Beach with the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, opening the Entrepreneurs of the South Bay, and more. Additionally we continued to build on the success of newer programs from recent years such as the Business Leaders’ Summit, Business Expo, and Business Analytic Tools.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a joint venture with the University of Rochester and the Kaufman Foundation, affording middle and high school students the opportunity to build and open a business. Students take part in curriculum focusing on skills needed to open and operate a business and finishes with them establishing their business and presenting for funding. With our second class starting we have grown from 12 to 24 budding entrepreneurs. The Entrepreneurs of the South Bay is designed to help entrepreneurs starting out ensure they have the resources, connections, and programs to build their business.
Building on the Women in Business Conference the South Bay Business Leaders’ Summit offers participants an opportunity to learn from some of the best. Previous presenters include: Gwynne Shotwell (COO of SpaceX), Andy Cohen (Co-CEO of Gensler), and Tracy Cioffi (VP See’s Candies). The Business Analytic Tool equips businesses with tools need to make critical business decisions in areas ranging from marketing, operations, and expansion. In depth analysis is available by sector, business type, location, and more.
Protecting the interests of business while striving to increase quality of life in the community is a charge the Manhattan Beach Chamber takes pride in. This year saw two tremendous developments for the city, the Manhattan Village Mall and Manhattan Beach Toyota. Standing alongside great organizations who not only generate tremendous revenue for our community but also give so much back to schools, civic organizations, and residents was an honor.
Years of discussion over what should be done with the downtown core has produced a forward looking plan. Working with the city, Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professionals Association, residents, and Commercial Property Owners Association to help shape the future has been of the utmost importance. The city brought forward the Urban Land Institute Study which has led to the work we are seeing on a Downtown Specific Plan.
The Chamber brought community representatives together in order to help educate them on our community needs and allow them to inform us on what is being doing for the South Bay. Starting in January with the State of the City and Mayor Powell sharing the progress Manhattan Beach is making and ending with the State of Business in Manhattan Beach with Assemblyman Hadley and State Senator Allen afforded members an opportunity to get up close and personal. Throughout the year we worked with the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce and Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives ensuring our voices were heard at hearings in Sacramento and the LA County Board of Supervisors on matters ranging from education to minimum wage.
The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce strives to provide businesses with the most comprehensive opportunities to place their business in front of consumers. Traditionally Chambers have focused on publications and social media to drive member messaging. Taking a more complete approach we have built programming, digital media opportunities, familiarization tours, attended national conventions, launched a radio show, and partnered with outstanding organizations.
The annual directory has been transformed into a destination guide, selling to visitors far and wide. Launching the quarterly business journal afforded an opportunity to educate on economic developments and highlight the business community to residents. Being the first local chamber with a radio platform for our business community afforded exposure and awareness of current events. The chamber website provides each member with their own web portal, creating further awareness and exposure.
Programming has focused on highlighting the diversity and success of the business community. Dine MB and Bite at the Beach, attended by over 800 people, exposed the culinary delights of our city to Los Angeles County. The Best of Manhattan has become the premier event recognizing the reach and impact of the Manhattan Beach business community.
As an organization, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, is fortunate to support such a strong and committed community. Our goal is to continue leading the development of a strong local economy by promoting the community, providing valuable business connections and representing business with government. None of this work would be possible without the dedication and commitment of our board of directors and volunteers.