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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Cottonwood Heights joins the South Valley Chamber of Commerce

Nov 07, 2023 08:52AM ● By Cassie Goff

Cottonwood Heights is in the process of becoming a member of the South Valley Chamber of Commerce. Recognized for its outstanding contributions in fostering economic development and providing essential resources, the South Valley Chamber has played a pivotal role in aiding businesses of all sizes with an emphasis on small businesses.

"We recognize that our businesses needed a platform to engage, learn and grow. The South Valley Chamber has proven its ability to provide just that," said Mayor Mike Weichers.

Paying an annual membership, Cottonwood Heights will be able to offer 10 small businesses operating within the city’s boundaries the opportunity to receive membership to the South Valley Chamber for free. 

“I want to give some of the businesses that don’t have the finances a chance to become members,” said Councilmember Matthew Holton. 

During the city council meeting on Oct. 17, Community and Economic Development Director Mike Johnson outlined various benefits to businesses within the city if Cottonwood Heights were to pay annually for membership. Those benefits will include: several member engagement lunches and events, educational sessions, golf tournaments, an active Women in Business program, an annual rewards gala, and timely “In The Know” meetings for current and high profile topics from business, civic and government leaders. 

"The South Valley Chamber has consistently demonstrated its dedication to equipping small businesses with the tools and knowledge they need to not only survive but thrive," said Jay Francis, president and CEO of the South Valley Chamber. "Empowering businesses is at the heart of our mission, and we're thrilled to have the support of Cottonwood Heights in this endeavor."

“The chamber presence is a conduit that helps with economic development and recruiting,” said City Manager Tim Tingey. “This will put the city on a bunch of boards and committees.” 

The South Valley Chamber of Commerce will provide certain services intended to enhance support for the city’s business community. In turn, Cottonwood Heights city staff hopes that this decision and related benefits will help to grow the city and its reputation for supporting small businesses. 

Cottonwood Heights currently has a business association, the Cottonwood Heights Business Association, which has been operating since 2015. The CHBA is free for all businesses within the city and is made up of proactive business owners who are invested in creating a vibrant and thriving economic community within the city. (The City Journals reported on the CHBA in April 2019). The CHBA hosts networking and educational events within the city, coordinates ribbon cuttings for new businesses, sponsors quarterly business luncheons, and hosts community events (like the Truck-or-Treat at City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd., on Oct. 31). 

“Membership to the South Valley Chamber will be an additive to what the CHBA is doing,” Johnson said. 

Before making a final decision to become members of the South Valley Chamber, members of the CHBA were surveyed. Out of all the businesses belonging to the CHBA, only 18 replied. Out of those 18, only three were negative. 

“It was a small sample size but there was an overall positive response,” Johnson said. 

South Valley Chamber membership will cost Cottonwood Heights $20,000 annually (with a discounted rate for membership of multiple years). 

“I’m having a hard time with the efficacy of spending this money,” Councilmember Ellen Birrell said. “Small businesses are still struggling with employees and they are so short-staffed. I don’t know if they would have the bandwidth for this.”

Resolution 2023-54: Approving an Agreement with the South Valley Chamber of Commerce for Professional Services was motioned by Councilmember Holton and seconded by Councilmember Shawn Newell. The resolution passed on Oct. 17 with a four-to-one vote as Councilmember Birrell voted in opposition. 

Now, city staff members within the Community and Economic Development Department are working to draft a contract and formal agreement for the city and South Valley Chamber to sign. That contract will be discussed by the council during their meeting on Nov. 7. 

For more information on the South Valley Chamber of Commerce, please visit λ