The Napa Chamber of Commerce recently announced the formation of a partnership with Mechanics Bank that will set the stage for the organization to reignite its local community outreach efforts, while also demonstrating the banks continued commitment to Napa’s small businesses and nonprofits.
Mechanics Bank CEO Christa Steele was enthusiastic in her support of the idea, and didn’t hesitate at the chance to provide local assistance.
“The idea for the Community Leader Alliance all started with a brainstorm session between Travis Stanley and me shortly following the Napa earthquake,” said Steele.
“We wanted to find a way to help those who serve the community, mainly small business owners and nonprofits, keep their doors open during what we knew was a challenging time, which is why we committed $25,000 to the cause.”
Mechanics Bank will join the Napa Chamber in a year-long “community crusade” benefiting five local nonprofits. They will also serve as presenting partners of “Random Acts of Kindness,” supporting the chamber’s efforts to perform random acts of generosity benefiting local small business and nonprofits whose focuses include providing goods and services for under-served youth, women and special-needs individuals.
Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center was a recent recipient of the selfless acts program when Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, considered one of the best traditional mariachi bands in the world, performed a benefit concert for the local nonprofit. Several volunteer staff members were able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event as a gesture of gratitude for their tireless efforts at the resource center.
Stay tuned for more of these “random acts,” which are designed simply to assist in raising spirits and boosting personal moral, while also recognizing local small business and non-profits. Hint: there’s a great locally-owned “caffe” located downtown on Brown Street that is difficult to get to due to surrounding post-quake construction. If you’re a frequent visitor there could be free morning coffee in your future (we’ll see you soon Rick).
Exchange business, not business cards
That’s been my message to chamber members every chance I get. I’ve come to better understand how the Napa Chamber of Commerce has historically functioned and operated, and respect and appreciate that a “small town” membership organization can be around for 126 years and have 30-plus members with 50 or more years of service.
I also understand that as we are in a much different time and place for small business owners. Technology, economy and new ways products and services are provided and sold are just a very small number of reasons it’s so important to look to each other for business support.
Take a close look at who/what our membership is comprised of. I’m on a never-ending mission to connect, engage and collaborate with every chamber member and I’d like for you to join me.
Next time you’re at a chamber event, don’t just exchange pleasantries and business cards. Get to know what type of business the person represents and if you are not in need, refer someone. It’s a simple message: “stop exchanging business cards and exchange business.”