Succeeding in a Tough Economy

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Jim Maran
President, Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

There”s little doubt that the economy we are operating in today is more difficult than just a year ago. And whether you are a home-based business, a multinational corporation or local government, we are all looking for ways to become more efficient and reduce expenses.

What”s interesting in times like these is that perhaps more than ever, the Gwinnett Chamber can become your best business partner and promoter. There are three current chamber initiatives for 2008 that will have a direct result on your bottom line.

Immediate: Reducing monthly and annual expenses

First, are you a member of the Gwinnett Chamber? Second, if so, are you taking advantage of our member discount program? We can save your company today thousands of dollars a year on health insurance, merchant card services, office supplies and workers comp insurance. These savings add up over time and are available for anyone from a sole proprietor to a Fortune 500 firm.

Short term: More visibility and exposure for your products and services

We are in the business of spreading the word about your business. We offer free links to your Web site through, distribute the membership directory to tens of thousands of newcomers moving into the area and refer prospects to your business dozens of times a day.

This fall, we will also roll out a new advertising campaign designed to motivate consumers and businesses to seek out Gwinnett Chamber members. Rather than advertise the chamber, we want to advertise you. We want this campaign to be an extension of your own marketing efforts.

Long term: Generating high-wage jobs and increasing household income

The chamber”s economic development efforts, thanks to the Partnership Gwinnett initiative, announced 38 corporate relocations and expansions in Gwinnett over the past 12 months, accounting for more than 2,900 new, high-wage jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital investment. Per capita income has also increased over the past two years.

These successes and these numbers mean more customers with more buying income for your business, whether your markets are consumers or other businesses. And it couldn”t come at a better time. Laying the groundwork now will give us a lead over our competition when the economy turns around and companies are ready to expand again.