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Secretary of State Scott Gessler to hold meeting in Pagosa

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler will be in Pagosa Springs Wednesday, Aug. 8, to address business owners about upcoming changes in state procedures and increased identity theft threats to companies.

Gessler will discuss recent updates to the state’s filing system and how the changes can make the business filing system easier.

He will also talk about the growth of business identity theft. The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce last year issued warnings about business identity theft and ways that business owners could better protect themselves. This threat continues to be on the rise and your business, as is the case with personal identity theft, could be in jeopardy.

The location of the meeting is currently slated for council chambers at Town Hall. The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. and will last approximately one hour. Gessler will also be on hand to answer questions anyone might have. The meeting is open to the public.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Strategic planning

Beginning with the July 26 edition of The SUN, the Chamber began to roll out a strategic plan that the board worked on earlier this year.

This strategic plan includes a set of prioritized goals and action steps and is a working document.

These are the issues or projects the Chamber Board of Directors has determined to be important to our community and our businesses. We encourage individuals and businesses to get involved and work on one of the subcommittees that will be created to tackle the issues.

One of the first priorities is for our community to enjoy a year-round economy, in which tourism is at least one of three economic factors. We will attempt to accomplish this goal working via multiple avenues. Currently, tourism leads our economy. We depend on our natural resources and our wilderness backyard and the attraction they afford our community. However, how can we create a sustainable diversity?

The Chamber board believes that geothermal capacity in Pagosa Springs is of great importance and could have a significant impact on business development in our community. We will become more involved with the ongoing geothermal efforts and see if there is a way we can contribute to the current geothermal board.

The Chamber would like to investigate efforts to combine all or some of its duties with the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation. Depending on size and needs, some communities have a separate Chamber and economic development organization, but many towns combine economic development efforts with their Chamber. We would like to investigate options.

While leading to a lofty goal, one of the biggest complaints the Chamber receives from new and expanding businesses deals with the “red tape” that exists when building. We would like to try and understand regulations imposed by various entities: town, county and PLPOA, create a web page that will help business owners navigate the various building processes, offer contact information and become more business friendly.

The Chamber would like to further investigate the ability of in-town business owners who live in the county to obtain the right to vote in town elections. This concept will take a lot of research, however, this issue is one of the main topics that has been brought to the attention of the Chamber by members of the business community.

Another lofty goal is to create a flow chart and start identifying the various overlapping efforts of agencies and administrations. Through dialogue with various agencies, we would then follow up with an outline of steps to reduce this duplication. There has been lots of talk about organizational overlapping and the Chamber would like to help with reducing duplicate efforts.

We want to grow our business community and our own organization. If any of these projects are of interest to you as a resident or business owner, contact the Chamber or any of the board members. Next week, we will deal with the second priority: advocacy for our business members.

Archuleta County Fair

Hopefully, residents and visitors have cleared their calendars so they can attend more than one day of the county fair.

There are many new activities and a lot of our favorites are also returning.

New this year will be the Junkyard Jamboree and the Backyard BBQ, both being held on Sunday, Aug. 5. Saturday will be filled with activities including livestock shows, Ranch Rodeo, the 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner and the Livestock Auction followed by the Fair Dance with the High Rollers. Boxing returns, as does skateboarding, horseshoes and the Kid’s Rodeo.

There are fair handbooks available at the Chamber and at locations all around town. Don’t miss out on our annual county fair, celebrating 61 years of “Mountains, Sun and Cowboy Fun.”

Congratulations to this year’s Western Gentlemen and Fair Lady: Allen and Lois Higgins. They have committed countless hours of volunteer work as well as sweat equity to our fair and embody the lifestyle that 4-H and the ranching community represents. We thank them for their years of service.

Business news

We would like to thank the business owners who responded to our survey about creating an extended training session on social marketing. It was a close call, but “Creating a Business Facebook Page” won. So, we will host a three-hour session in August. Stay tuned next week for the exact date, location and time. We look forward to many business owners learning more about how they can make this marketing phenomenon work for their business.

We have no new members to announce this week, however, we have a fair amount of loyal renewals. We welcome back First Southwest Bank; Dr. King Campbell, DDS PLLC; Upscale Resale; San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging; Bar D Chuckwagon Suppers and Soaring Tree Tops in Durango.

Remember that the Chamber offers many opportunities for you to improve and enhance your business acumen. Take advantage of one of the free or nominally-priced courses we provide. If you are interested in specific training, contact the Chamber so we can help you get the assistance you need.

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