Over one-third of the city's operating budget is comprised of income from sales taxes, business fees and hotel room tax (TOT) paid by overnight visitors. These sources of income contribute significantly to paying for city services such as police and fire, street maintenance, recreation, and other services. Under a contractual partnership with the city, the Chamber wrote the city's first economic development plan and is responsible for carrying it out.
Business, Resident and Visitor Information Center
Highly trained staff members provide information of all kinds to local residents and people visiting Sonoma County. The Chamber's offices are a source of free printed materials including maps, brochures, travel magazines, food and wine references, public transportation schedules, business information and resource, demographics, real estate publications, school information, entertainment and event listings. Annually visitors stop at the Chamber. The Chamber prints the official city map, which is available at the Chamber and City Hall. The Chamber also prints the annual Business Resource Directory which is distributed free to all residents. It lists all member businesses as well as demographic information and pertinent information about city departments and services.
Chamber staff takes compiling and updating demographic and business information seriously, source materials and Chamber compiled local demographic and business community information is available free at the Chamber's offices.
The Chamber is a local advocate for member businesses and lobbies on the local, regional and state level on issues and legislation that affect the business community. These roles of advocate and lobbyist are accomplished through building relationships with elected officials and educating them in the needs and positions of the local business community. The Chamber leverages its influence and effectiveness by joining forces with Marin and Sonoma County chambers on regional issues and with the California Chamber of Commerce on statewide issues.
Some of the regional issues the Chamber is involved in are transportation, housing, land use, resource conservation and education. On the local level it is participating in implementing the city's General Plan through writing ordinances, contributing to specific plan areas such as the proposed University Square and the new city center; taking a leadership role in solving the affordable housing dilemma; supporting Sonoma State University Music Center; lobbying for golf course improvements; being a spokesperson for business expansion and leading the way in bringing together University students and the business community. The Chamber participated in creating the General Plan and was instrumental in helping to pass the Urban Growth Boundary ballot measure.
EducationStaying current with technological developments and applications to business practices is critical to success. One of the prime directives of the Chamber is to help businesses become and stay successful. At Noon Times experts are invited to speak on a multitude of topics.
Central to the success of businesses is the quality of employees. Through partnerships with non-profit organizations, the school district and Sonoma State University, the Chamber helps businesses participate in mentoring, job shadowing, and curriculum development to train future employees. Chamber members contributed advice, financial support and equipment to the Technology High School and to the creation of the future Sonoma State University Engineering Masters Degree program.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the governing body of the Chamber made up of active Chamber members. Directors set policies and perform strategic planning for organizational change and growth.
Noon Times "The Local Scoop" Program Committee
Women In Business Program Committee
This monthly luncheon which meets the second Tuesday of the month focuses on networking as well as providing speakers relevant to business women.
Annual Business Showcase Committee
Annual Business Showcase Committee members oversee the planning and supervision of this event, which is the one of the largest community events in the city.
Membership Committee members develop benefits and programs to enhance membership in the Chamber.
Ambassador Committee is composed of selected Chamber members who act as Ambassadors to other organizations. They welcome and orient new members and help them become involved. They host Chamber events, officiate at ribbon cuttings, ground breakings and grand openings.