The Los Banos Chamber of Commerce is compelled to comment in reaction to the series of negative statements made by Council Member Joe Sousa at the recent Enterprise Candidates' Forum.
It is clear that Mr. Sousa is not fully informed about the fundamental structure, purpose and function of a Chamber of Commerce, and its benefits to our city and our quality of life.
The Chamber is a voluntary organization representing all segments of the business community. Its common goal is to improve the quality of life in the community through business and economic development. In the course of doing business, we generate sales tax, property tax, user fees, salaries and income tax. These are the main source of our city's revenue, the life blood of the city's general operating budget.
We encourage, promote and support business and industrial growth and retention, and proudly promote the quality of life that Los Banos offers. We are self-funded. Asking for no financial assistance from the city, our members share the operational costs of the Chamber. The Chamber also conducts fundraising activities, marketing and advertizing programs, a Christmas Parade, Street Faires, a Tomato Festival, tourism promotion and visitor information services, a telephone directory, maps, and other activities aimed at proudly promoting Los Banos.
If Mr. Sousa would take the time to learn about these benefits generated by the independent business community in Los Banos, we are certain that he would think twice before biting the hand that feeds him, and criticizing the Chamber of Commerce without knowing what it does for Los Banos.
I invite Mr. Sousa to drop in to the Chamber office and get to know us and what we stand for.
Geneva Brett is president of the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce.