Chambers deserve community thanks

Published 10:36 am Thursday, January 17, 2019


It’s that time of year.

Area chambers of commerce are swapping leaders (well, most) and celebrating successes, lauding erstwhile efforts by their members.

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Their gathered assemblies around Greater Port Arthur and Mid County draw hundreds of participants and mean much more than even pithy speeches or well-deserved awards or even prolonged applause can tell.

Sure, it’s a great time to tout efforts by volunteers and staffs. Nothing wrong with that. Outgoing chairpersons can breathe sighs of relief, incoming leaders must face 12 months of blood, sweat, toil and tears.

It’s a great time for members to applaud the staffs, too, most of whom succeed while getting by on barebones budgets.

But there’s much more to volunteer and staff chamber service and it deserves the thanks of not only those people involved as members but also the wider community, who oftentimes reap the benefits of chambers’ good work — oftentimes without knowing or acknowledging it.

Pam Trosclair, the new chair at the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, encouraged members to participate as she revealed a litany of events planned for 2019: hosting a booth at the city’s Heritage Festival, honoring the Mother of the Year, attending Golden Triangle Days, promoting the 2nd Annual Clay Shoot and planning the Christmas Parade.

“Yes, these are all hard work, but we have so much fun preparing for each one we forget the blood, sweat, and yes, the broken bones,” she said. “What we remember are the laughs, the networking, getting to know other Nederland business owners and their employees. And before we close out one event, we are talking about ways to improve the next one.”

There’s much to be said for such teamwork.

At Port Neches’ banquet, city and chamber officials talked about development along the waterfront and downtown, something that will not only expand the city’s tax base but also create opportunities for jobs. For that to happen, chamber staff and volunteer leaders will spend long hours in research, planning and execution of plans.

Some of those plans will come to fruition and some — alas — will not. But nothing happens without good intentions and hard — oftentimes, unpaid — labor.

When other citizens reap the benefits of that labor, they may never know whom to thank. But thanks will be due and we’ll offer them here — to every chamber.

Next week, the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce will celebrate and the Groves chamber the week after that. We’ll hear more good news or at least of more good efforts.

We urge businesspeople and other community leaders of goodwill to consider chamber service, to take enthusiastic part in the planning and development of this community. Greater Port Arthur and Mid County have much to recommend them; success depends on heartfelt participation.