Governmental Affairs Committee
Monitors local, state and federal legislative issues of concern to our Chamber membership and our community. Committee members attend informational meetings with various government representatives and issue related associations, respond to legislative communications and make recommendations to the Board of Directors as needed. Our Chamber of Commerce depends on the resources of Texas Association of Business, the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Texas Travel Industry Association, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the Rio Grande Valley Partnership to stay informed on state and national issues of importance to Texas, to business and our tourism industry. The SPI Chamber is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We utilize their resources to remain current on national issues important to our local business community such as economic conditions, immigration, social security, border security, education, and transportation. And finally, this committee conducts a candidate forum for city government candidates each election year, giving residents an opportunity to hear their views on important Island issues.
Business Services Committee
Responsible for providing educational training for businesses, the committee works closely with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to provide seminars covering topics such as Social Media, Customer Service, Payroll Compliance, E-Commerce Basics, QuickBooks, Employee Discipline and Separation, and Insurance Basics for Small Businesses. ServSafe Food Manager and Basic Food Handling classes are held annually affording those in the food service sector the opportunity to provide required certification for their employees. The committee also holds Pool Certification classes for those businesses with swimming pools and spas. All of these classes meet State and Federal requirements for certification. And finally, Quarterly Luncheons are organized presenting informative speakers, such as our elected State and Federal Representatives bringing updates on the latest legislative sessions. These luncheons provide an excellent opportunity for members to gain valuable insight on topics that impact our community.
Made up of local business owners and school district representatives, the committee works to identify and develop curriculum to benefit both the students and local employers and fosters positive relationships. Committee members also keep abreast of school finance issues including but not limited to school property taxes. This committee was instrumental in development of the Career and Technology Curriculum and DECA at the Port Isabel High School, equipping students with valuable tools to continue their secondary education or enter the local workforce. The committee also organizes an annual new teacher welcome luncheon and teacher appreciation event.
The ambassadors of the Chamber; the committee is responsible for ribbon cuttings and mixers for new Chamber members. These events provide the opportunity to bring the community into their business as well as network with other business owners and managers. Each new member of the Chamber receives a personal visit from an Island Ambassador welcoming them to the Chamber, and encouraging them to get involved. Island Ambassadors sponsor the annual “Shop the Island” promotion to encourage investment into the local economy, the annual Member Showcase, which attracts over 300 people, and the annual Walk the Dock at Sea Ranch Marina. And finally, Islanders provide valuable assistance as volunteers at Chamber events.