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Reflecting on Chamber Successes

By J.J. Ballestros

As 2019 starts, we would like to reflect back and share some of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce’s recent accomplishments. The Board of Directors and staff are working diligently to accomplish more and provide increased value to its members and the City of Laguna Beach as a whole.

Chamber members, business owners and city officials gather at a recent chamber mixer. Photo courtesy of J.J. Ballesteros

Recent Accomplishments:

  1. The Chamber was a strong voice in defeating Measure P, which would have increased the sales tax for our local businesses by 1 percent. The Chamber believes that a sales tax increase would have been devastating for many of our small businesses.
  2. The Chamber submitted revisions to portions of the Downtown Specific Plan to lessen the restrictions for local businesses, including pressing for streamlined approvals. If adopted, these changes will allow more innovative businesses to move to Laguna. The revised plan will be heard by the City Council sometime this spring
  3. The Chamber is working with the city to hire an Urban Economist to gather further information on how our businesses can be more successful and which restrictions should be changed. This effort should occur this spring.
  4. The Chamber developed revisions to the city’s maintenance policies to encourage better upkeep of commercial structures.
  5. The Chamber submitted revisions to the Parking Ordinance to ease restrictions on businesses looking to upgrade or expand.
  6. The Chamber had another successful year of The Taste of Laguna and Hospitality Night.
  7. The Chamber held several mixers and workshops that provided excellent growth opportunities and networking
  8. The Chamber sponsored dozens of ribbon cutting ceremonies celebrating new businesses and new members.

Chamber Plans for 2019:

  1. Monthly mixers at Laguna’s most notable restaurants
  2. Breakfast meetings with panels covering various industries 
  3. Continue with our Chamber Installation and Leadership Luncheon (March 12) and State of the City (May 2) events
  4. Chamber Golf Tournament at the Ranch (May 17)
  5. Taste of Laguna (October) and Hospitality Night (December)
  6. Open for Business workshops (TBA)
  7. Continuing our ribbon cutting ceremonies

As the Chamber looks to increase its membership, we also aim to be the number one resource for our local businesses. Please feel free to share any thoughts, ideas or feedback on how we can better assist you and your business.

J.J. Ballesteros is the president of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Andrea Ballesteros are principles of the Ballesteros Group, a real estate team with Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. They live in Top of the World and have two boys, Cruz (8) and Christian (5).

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