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Chamber merger: Challenges can be addressed better, together

There can be no doubt about the challenging times the South Shore business community finds itself in. As we move forward with the new chamber of commerce, it is important to remind ourselves of the critical issues that we face. Here is the short list and you have seen it before: environmental improvement, affordable housing, transportation, failing small businesses, loss of the middle class, retail leakage, over-regulation, the airport and many more.

It is important to realize that these issues impact the entire South Shore – not just California or not just Nevada. For years we have unsuccessfully dealt with these issues with two separate chambers of commerce. As we move forward with a sense of urgency to find solutions to these issues for the community at large and chamber members specifically, we must do so with a focused effort and a common goal. To that end, the new merged chamber has been created: The Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce South Shore.

The benefits of the new chamber to the membership are substantial and include: a fair and affordable dues structure, improved membership programs, stronger and more innovative support programs to assist the small business in this community, support for economic development, and reduced duplication of efforts. But perhaps the best benefit is the ability to now tackle the tough issues together in one forum as one community. The issues will be challenging, but together as one unified organization we can accomplish greater results. The community should expect nothing less.

For years many at the South Shore have wondered why we had two chambers. It was a different time with different circumstances and different issues. Now with one chamber of commerce, for the first time in South Shore history, we are better prepared to serve the membership and to deal with the daunting challenges that face our community today and in the future. For decades the state line has subtly divided us all. For the sake of the community we need to end our division. Our challenges are not with each other. The challenges are the problems that are confronting us. We are better, stronger and will be more effective together than separate. No one can argue differently.

The merger process has been challenging; differences have been forced, long-term friendships have been strained, old ways die hard. The key point is what’s ahead and what is the best way to realistically confront the challenges that face us. The challenges are big and they are difficult. The new chamber is up to the task and we welcome your support. Our community is at a fork in the road – we can bravely move forward together or stay where we have been; the choice is yours. As Sir Edmund Hillary once said, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

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One community, one economy – The Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce South Shore.

— Sue Lowe, Tahoe Douglas Chamber of Commerce

–Carl Ribaudo, South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce


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