National City Chamber News

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
National City Chamber of Commerce
City & State:
National City, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Mission: To increase opportunities for businesses and advocate for our membership in matters related to business, government, and community relations.Vision: The National City Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the premier local Chamber of Commerce in the San Diego Region, is highly respected by the community as the unified voice of business, and participates as a major partner in planning the future of our community, insuring a healthy balance between economic prosperity and quality of life. The Chamber is an advocate for business friendly legislation at all levels of government, and is an organization with a strong, active membership.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The National City Chamber of Commerce (NCCC) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of downtown National City in San Diego County. The organization was founded in 1905 as a Board of Trade and chartered in 1911 as a Chamber of Commerce. Since then, the NCCC has worked to improve the National City business climate and quality of life by advocating for its members, providing information about current issues, promoting business growth and impacting the city’s economic development through new programs and Microsoft technologies. We serve over 600 members and strive to represent the more than 2,500 businesses in National City. Moreover, as of 2005, we now serve the San Diego Region as a Visitor’s Information Center. The NCCC has identified 10 Strategic Objectives and Actions Plans over the next 3 years to fulfill the vision and mission of the organization. Each Strategic Objective is geared toward achieving specific outcomes. Strategic Objective 3 and 6 identify the Chamber’s communication and programming goals. Many of the associated Action Plans rely on Microsoft solutions to implement. The overall goal of the Chamber is to become a self-sustained business organization that delivers on the needs of the business community and improves the quality of life in National City. Our Strategic Plan can be viewed online at The National City Chamber of Commerce is reenergized with transformative leadership, member driven strategic planning, and a vigorous community agenda. Effective communication with member businesses, community partners, residents, and stakeholders is fundamental to support the organization’s expanded reach and service impact. Microsoft technologies and applications, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, Power Point, Excel, Access, Publisher, Photo Shop, and In Design have undoubtedly optimized our mission delivery. Implementing these updated applications followed the Chamber’s successful quest for a supportive infrastructure. As of July, 2008, the Chamber’s computers were old, outdated, and Chamber staff feared that they would crash at any moment. With a limited budget, purchasing new computers was not an option. On September 24, 2008, the San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF) donated five computers (Dell GX280 desktop computers with 40GB or larger hard drives, a minimum 512 MB of RAM and a 2.4 GHz - 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 Processor) to the NCCC. With an improved technological infrastructure, we soon sought Microsoft product donations from Tech Soup Stock, and Symantec virus protection software. Microsoft Outlook has enabled the Chamber to efficiently transmit important information to our email accessible stakeholders. Our database management tools such as Excel, and most recently implemented, Access 2007, have improved our capacity to contact our stakeholders via phone, email, and direct mail. Excel exportable databases from Chamber Ware, our registered membership management software, are also utilized to sort member directory information, transfer it to MS Word’s mail merge application, and easily create mailing labels that are used to sort and distribute our monthly mailers. Staff develops all marketing and communication materials in house using Publisher, Word, Photo Shop, and In Design. Publisher and Word are utilized to create bulletins and flyers for upcoming events, ribbon cuttings, meetings, workshops, and press releases; Photo Shop and In Design are utilized to create our more sophisticated and higher quality publications such as Chamber News, our quarterly newsletter, the City’s Dining and Lodging Guide with mapping components, and marketing collateral for the City such as demographic fact sheets that incorporate graphs, charts, graphics, and text. These marketing materials have allowed the Chamber to aggressively market its new economic development programs, community events, policy issues, business development opportunities, community highlights, city news, visitor information, volunteer opportunities, job announcements, and business resources to its member base. These resources are included in the Chamber’s monthly mailers. Moreover, the marketing files are now easily converted to PDF documents and readily posted on our Chamber website. The National City Chamber of Commerce launched is new website, designed by Golden State Web Solutions, on July 1, 2008. The website offers up-to-date press releases, a master calendar of events, along with sponsorship applications, access to newsletters and policy issues, a list of regional, state, and federal Business Resources, job and volunteer postings, a member directory and an online membership application. The website’s new look reflects the Chamber’s cutting edge approach to clear, direct, and responsive business assistance. Partnerships and improved technology have helped to enhance the Chamber’s capacity for effectiveness. However, the Chamber is limited in scope due to inadequate software and technology. For example, the Chamber’s web serve restricts daily email capacity. Although we may have a growing database of members and nonmembers, we cannot always communicate with all of them at once. Our goal is to electronically reach all of the City’s 2,500 businesses, and other regional stakeholders. This would save the organization substantial print costs and drastically improve our marketing efforts. Technological compatibility is also an issue. Chamber Ware is not integrated with Microsoft applications, and databases must be manually exported to Excel, and then imported to Access. Billing membership dues is also laborious because Chamber Ware is not integrated with the Chamber’s QuickBooks program. The Chamber received only one In Design program donation. Thus, only one computer in the Chamber office has access to this extremely useful design program, which limits are ability to open and share design files. Moreover, the Chamber website’s online capabilities are not adequate to support the organization’s fundraising and communication efforts. At this time, the Chamber can only post information. We cannot process bill payments, accept donation contributions, process sponsorship payments, nor process credit card transactions. The Chamber has recently undertaken a debt retirement campaign. Web payment would be a tremendous asset to aid our fundraising efforts. Nonetheless, we have received continuous accolades from businesses and members regarding the dramatic improvement in our marketing efforts, including our new Chamber Newsletter and Dining and Lodging Guide. These marketing tools have allowed us to communicate wide scale community projects and initiatives ranging from National City’s Farmer’s Market to ADA Lawsuit Protection Workshops. The NCCC will continue to serve it membership and take advantage of technological upgrades that beneficially impact our ability to serve businesses and meet community needs.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery