The Clock Keeps Ticking

September 21, 2020Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber

If you attended last week’s Annual Membership Meeting and Celebration, you experienced quite a rare treat.  Never in the history of the Chamber have we presented so many awards at one time.

You saw the best of the best, and you watched as 16 winners graced the stage to accept their awards.  And while we celebrated the winners, we also celebrated the nominees. To have been nominated was quite an achievement for those who make your Chamber tick.

In addition, those in attendance heard me reference the gift that outgoing Chairman Darrin Black presented to each Board member when he took the helm last fall.  It was a pocket watch, engraved with Board of Directors 2019-2020.

When Darrin presented those watches, he challenged us.  And although no one could’ve predicted the year in store, he made a compelling point:  let’s pledge to make the most of our time, and ensure that our actions impact our Chamber members in the most significant way possible.

I’d say by most accounts, that mission was accomplished.

You may not realize it, but there are a slew of Chamber member volunteers who never stop working for you. Sure, you know our professional staff. But behind them are tireless, dedicated volunteers business leaders who commit their time and brain power to make a difference for your business. That’s the beauty of our organization – we might not be heavy on paid staff, but we have a team of horses pulling the Chamber wagon like none other.

And one good example of that work that never ends is exhibited in the annual Business Mercado, undertaken each year by the Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council and chaired by Travis Ruiz, news director for KTAB/KRBC/Telemundo Abilene.

This year’s Business Mercado has the theme of Siempre Cambiando – Always Changing – Your Business is Bidi Bidi Bom Bom!

Taking place on October 10, 2020 at the Abilene Convention Center from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, the event offers free admission and a showcase of some of the best business and cultural highlights in the Big Country.

Here’s the interesting part: our talented volunteers began planning this year’s event immediately following last year’s Mercado – and worked hard as those hands swept those pocket watches presented by Chairman Black.

Business Mercado (Market) is an annual event that features business products and services with the intent of building the bridge with the Hispanic consumer.

Open to all businesses interested in connecting with the Hispanic market, this high energy, family friendly event spotlights the Hispanic culture in Abilene with mariachis, ballet folklorico and other family fun activities throughout the day. Business Mercado leverages branding and marketing opportunities, while benefiting from business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking.

Concerned about safety in the world of Covid-19?  Don’t be.  We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation and work closely with the Convention Center and local government to ensure we’re taking the best possible precautions so that you feel the most comfortable as an exhibitor or attendee.

Here are a few of the measures our team will put into action:

– We’re limiting the entrance of the event to just one area so proper temperature checks and hand sanitation can take place before anyone enters the building

– To protect your health and the health of others, masks will be required and will be on-hand for those who do not have one. We know that not all will feel the comfortable in a mask all day, but in order to get back to some sort of “normalcy” it’s a step we feel that we need to take to help ensure you remain healthy

– Thanks to our friends at ChemStation, we’ll have multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility

– Unsure of if the person you want to visit with is physically distancing? We’ll have colored bracelets on-hand to help you communicate to those around you which measures you are practicing. A red will mean no contact, yellow elbows only while still being cautious, blue hi-five and handshakes with frequent sanitizing

– We’re boosting up our signage throughout the building to help remind everyone in attendance of proper public health guidelines

Once again, this unique, popular event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our member business, including main sponsors America’s SBDC at Texas Tech, Happy State Bank and Telemundo Abilene.

Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages will sponsor the Business Mercado 2020 stage once again, while billboards promoting the event have been underwritten by Republic Services – Abilene Landfill.

Back to the watch.  Think about how you’ll spend your time in the coming year and start boosting your visibility now through Business Mercado.

Mark your calendars for October 10 and make your way to the Convention Center in downtown Abilene to enjoy this annual event, and bring someone with you.  You’ll be glad you did!



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