Chamber Chat: Reflecting on the Truckee Chamber’s role (Opinion)

In the “Chamber World,” we say there are two types of chambers: 3P Chambers (parties, parades, and pageants) and 3C Chambers (Catalyst, Convenere, and Connector). Over the last several decades chambers across the globe have shifted their focus from the 3Ps to the 3Cs as a better way to serve their members, businesses, and their greater communities. With that shift, many chambers have given away or abandoned community events. When I took over the Truckee Chamber I was surprised to find out that we still ran the Annual Truckee 4th of July Parade. Helping to organize this year’s parade has allowed me to re-evaluate the distinction between the 3Ps and the 3Cs and to reflect on the chamber’s role in creating a greater sense of community through the 4th of July Parade. 

First and foremost, a Fourth of July parade fosters community engagement and brings people together. It creates a sense of unity, allowing residents to come out and celebrate their shared heritage. Parades have a unique ability to generate excitement and a festive atmosphere, encouraging individuals of all ages to participate and enjoy the festivities. By organizing such an event, a chamber of commerce plays a vital role in strengthening community bonds and creating a positive social environment.

A Fourth of July parade can also serve as a catalyst for collaboration among different organizations within the community. This year we had at least two businesses (Plumas Bank and Quality Automotive Servicing) sponsor floats for two of our local non-profits. Producing the parade is a community effort. It takes working with law enforcement, the Town of Truckee, TTUSD, local civic clubs, non-profits, businesses, and more to put together a successful parade.  This collaborative effort not only strengthens relationships in our community but also allows organizations to form deeper relationships with each other. 

Before digital marketing, Facebook and Tik Tok, there were parades! The Fourth of July parade can still provide an excellent platform to showcase local businesses. The chamber works hard to highlight the diverse range of businesses within the community, both through parade entries and sponsorships. Local merchants, non-profits, artisans, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate by decorating floats. You rarely have a captive audience of 7,000 people excited to see what you have created. This exposure not only increases brand visibility for businesses but also encourages community members to support local establishments, thereby boosting the local economy.

Finally, producing the Annual Truckee Fourth of July parade aligns with the mission of the Chamber of Commerce, which is to promote the overall economic welfare and prosperity of the community. By organizing a memorable and successful parade, the chamber demonstrates its commitment to supporting local businesses and driving economic growth. It showcases the community’s strengths, talents, and resources to a wider audience.

By organizing this celebratory event, the Truckee Chamber plays a crucial role in building a strong and vibrant community while creating opportunities for growth and prosperity. We hope to see you out on Donner Pass Road on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, from 10:00 – 12:00 p.m. as we celebrate the 4th of July!

Jessica Penman is president and CEO for the Truckee Chamber of Commerce.

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