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Renewed Commitment to Basics
August 27, 2009

Hello and welcome to “At the Center.”

As we head into fall, I am pleased to note that it does appear we are seeing some signs of economic recovery. Sure employment numbers remain a very real concern, but the markets, inventories and economic indicator surveys appear to suggest better days ahead. Let’s hope the worst is over and let’s put our energy behind focusing on the recovery and the prospects for our prosperous future.

Yet, it must be noted that from everything I hear from our members, this recovery –early as it may be--feels different. Sure, it doesn’t feel as robust as some past recoveries; and it doesn’t feel as certain as people would like it to be….yet there appears to be a more fundamental difference on people’s minds. A difference that suggests “business as usual” has, in fact, changed over these past 18 or so months. A difference that is likely to change the way we do business for the long term.

From what I hear from our members, this recession has not just caused businesses to look at all their expenses and, for better or worse, cut where they can; this recession has also caused businesses to look at their priorities and, in fact, change.

To be clear, this change I hear about is not simply cutting back on the employee holiday parties –although I certainly hear about that—no, this change is about a renewed commitment to the mission and vision of an organization. This change is about being laser focused on all aspects of business operations –from product development to customer service. And, this change is about re-capturing the American entrepreneurial and competitive spirit that continues to make our economy number one in the world.

A friend recently commented that the last 6 months have been his most creative ever in over 25 years in business - not fun, mind you, but creative. We are living the adage, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And we are poised to thrive as a result. Your Chamber is aware of this change and we are adjusting accordingly to ensure that our program offerings provide you with the depth of information and value you need to prosper.

From next month’s Small Business Summit and Business Contingency Workshop to our new Peer Group offerings to our money-saving value-added products, we have a program or service aimed at helping you recover as quickly as possible. Check it out, our entire “Recovery Tool Box” offerings can be found on our website at www.lancasterchamber.com.

We welcome your input on how we can best serve you in these changing times. From advocacy to program offerings, The Chamber wants to be your partner in helping set the stage for a robust recovery in a new economy. Please tell us what you think. And, while you’re at it, do your part by buying local. Nothing hurries a local recovery quicker than a broad-based commitment to keep our purchasing power in our area.

Check out our on-line membership directory and use it. Working and buying together we will all benefit.

Until next time, stay in touch, stay engaged and stay with us…At the Center.

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