Business’ First Responder

April 6, 2020Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

The Abilene Chamber recognizes and understands the challenges facing our members during this virus crisis. We understand the stress that has been brought upon you, your business, your employees and even your family. Please know, we are working tirelessly on your behalf.

And, at times like this, we’re extremely grateful for the businesses that continue to support the work we do. Please join us in thanking our March member renewals and the businesses that joined the Chamber during the month of March.

The word “essential” has been thrown around by society and government quite a bit lately. While we can understand the meaning in this context, I think everyone has considered what value they bring.

A Chamber of Commerce is a unique thing. Many people think we are a city, probably a tax funded, entity. Not true.

Many people think we are a marketing agency. Not true, although we do provide opportunities for you to market your business.

Many people think we are just event planners. Not the only thing we do, but we do believe our community is enriched by having regular activities to enjoy.

At the Abilene Chamber, we’re the first responders for business. We provide triage while we work diligently to ensure a long-term healthy prognosis for your bottom line.

And not just in times of crisis. It’s in our DNA.

We provide word of mouth referrals on a daily basis. We manage a social media presence with broad reach. We create networking connections and new partnerships. We do graphic design and a number of other services our members can appreciate.

We help your granddad find the phone number he didn’t find in the yellow pages. We help high school kids learn more about their community, so they become advocates of Abilene.

We mail visitor packets out of state to people who are interested in relocating here. We encourage people to stay in our local hotels and to order our favorite menu items from local restaurants. We help newcomers settle in by giving them useful resources accompanied by a sincere warm welcome to the community.

We are an information hub, the small town 411. We work closely with City leaders, Downtown merchants, Dyess Air Force Base, State agencies, Small Business Development Centers and more to stay in the know of things that could benefit or damage our community.

We are in a constant state of event planning and are regularly brainstorming new programs or services for our business community because we want your business to thrive. And we want it to thrive in Abilene, Texas.

If you ask us “what’s the point of joining the Chamber” we can rattle off a list of things we will do for you and your business. And, my team and I will explain that even if you don’t engage in the networking events, seminars, leadership programs, etc., you will still receive value from your membership with legislative support, economic development, workforce development, etc.

Remember when I mentioned the other day that TxDOT wanted to spend all its reserves to improve I-35 through Austin? Your Chamber stood up and stepped up for West Texas, Abilene and your business. Just like we’ve done for more than a century.

Your membership made that possible.

We recognize that different members are seeking different results. However, a Chamber cultivates a healthier community through economic development, tourism, quality of life, advocacy and by helping to ensure our community is the best and easiest place to do business.

A Chamber is many things. We are flexible and ever evolving, because that’s what it takes to be forward thinking and relevant. We offer a mix of tangible and intangible benefits to our members, but a vibrant Chamber is GOOD for a vibrant community.

Supporting your chamber means you have a hand in helping to build the quality of life where you live, work and play. I invite you, as always to help share the Chamber’s story – but more importantly, to be a part of writing the next chapter.



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