The Orange County Chamber of Commerce recently contracted with McLaughlin & Associates, a national survey research and consulting firm, to conduct a Perception Study on the Chamber and the business community. The survey results have been released to the Chamber Board of Directors.
“We’re very grateful to the hundreds of Chamber members, former members and non-members who participated in this study,” said Chamber President Dr. John A. D’Ambrosio. “The purpose of the survey was to identify ways in which the Chamber can better serve its members and the business community in general. As a result, a task force has been formed that will begin immediately to address the survey’s findings and implement the recommendations.”
Chief among the findings is that local business owners need two major services: help growing their businesses, and a voice to represent them in the legislative arena. “Business owners are working hard to maintain and grow their businesses,” according to the survey results, “but they do not have the time or resources to devote to lobbying or advocating for a more business friendly environment.” While the Chamber currently has an active government initiatives program as well as two New York State lobbyists on staff, said Dr. D’Ambrosio, “in light of the survey findings, we will take steps to significantly increase and improve these legislative efforts.”
Specifically, on matters such as property taxes, sales tax and regulations, the Chamber will take a more active and vocal role in advocating for the interests of business and creating a more business-friendly environment in Orange County.
Other key findings of the survey: nine in ten (89%) of current Chamber members are satisfied with the job the Chamber is doing; 66% of respondents said the Chamber has been “effective” in representing the interests of businesses in Orange County; and the staff at the Chamber received a 77% effective rating.
“While we are pleased with and encouraged by positive findings such as these,” said Dr. D’Ambrosio, “we’ve heard the voice of our members and the business community loudly and clearly: the Chamber needs to do even more to improve the business climate and create the most business-friendly environment possible here in Orange County.”
The Orange County Chamber of Commerce was created in 1997 by the consolidation of the two largest chambers of commerce in Orange County. Both predecessor chambers had a 100-year history of service to the business community prior to that time. The Chamber currently has a membership of more than 1,500 businesses and organizations, making it one of the largest chambers of commerce in New York State.