Why is business growth important? What do you do again? Why should I join the Chamber of Commerce? Why do you help produce so many events, if you are not like getting paid for it? How is your business doing?
I get these questions a lot, particularly lately with the stock market and Wall Street in a stunning period of volatility and our economy in the worst state it has been in at least the last 30 years. As my Economics professor told me getting my MBA, “stagflation” is the worst position for an economy can be in – and we are there. This period, when the economy is stagnant and the value of our currency is declining (resulting in inflation) it is very distressing. What does any of this have to do with our Seal Beach? Well, after being here for two years and working closely with the Chamber, City and various clients I thought it would be important in this election year to talk about the fundamental role of business in a community. As a consultant, I constantly observe and analyze business, so I can sum it up in a single word – growth.
The arguable measure of any community is its ability to create a quality living experience for all members of that community. We have seen through the fall of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the former Soviet Union and in countless attempt to control market economies that the regulation of business in excess results in contraction. In our town, the ability to shop, work, educate and live in the same geographic space is part of the magic that makes Seal Beach so special. Thankfully, many of our merchants are still doing well. Part of that is due to local residents keeping their discretionary spending in the local market. The events in Seal Beach are such that all residents can enjoy them – this leads to shopping and spending with our businesses. When those events have lots of community support – government, business and resident, than a community can truly reap the benefits of this positive spiral of growth. We not only have local support, we attract visitors and their spending. Business drives this growth through job creation and value creation within a community. We can outshine other cities and towns in California, by all working together to resist the divisiveness that economic strain produces in all of us.
Though there are many disagreements in our community about property rights, community benefits and various measures on the ballot, I hope we can recognize that everyone in the community wants to have the “best town” according to their vision. We should strive to find the common ground for all members of Seal Beach and supporting the engine of growth – our local businesses. Come to the October 25th – 26th Sidewalk Sale, dress up for Halloween and shop in our various business centers, come out to our Christmas tree lighting on November 28th and participate in the spectacular Holiday parade on December 5th! Get out there, vote for what you believe in, but don’t neglect to vote with your dollars – by supporting local businesses and the events, which showcase them and ultimately our community.
Seth Eaker is the Past President of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce and is the founder of Black Marble Consulting, LLC., a business consulting and marketing firm.