I am excited to serve as the Kanab Area Chamber President. We have a super charged presidency and new board. For those who don’t know me, I am Jeannie Hunt. My husband and I own the Radio Shack. Vice-president Jo Anne Rando-Moon owns Healthy Pawz. Our secretary, Colette Cox, is the Kane Campus Coordinator for Southwest Applied Technology College. Daniel Church is the treasurer and a commercial loan officer from State Bank of Southern Utah.

Our new board of directors consists of Matt Brown from Canyon Photo, Terra Sue Honey from the Volunteer Center, Kelly Stowell from the Center for Business and Arts (CEBA), outgoing President Betty Colson, and Sheldon Honey from Honey’s Marketplace.

Our Chamber of Commerce needs to be a strong voice for businesses in our area. We are creating a legislative committee to work with local government, revising the chamber bylaws, and will soon implement an exciting “Shop Local” campaign with help from Shop Local Utah in Salt Lake.

We have a large agenda for the year with projects to compliment the construction that is coming on Highway 89. We are working on a new Chamber sponsored city map, have great ideas for the website, including a monthly newsletter, and several fun activities planned for our community. Businesses get a lot for the $60 membership fee and $25 website cost.

We need everyone who cares to join. Each business is unique and has its own needs and concerns, but there are things we all have in common, and that’s where we need to meet. The health of our business community effects almost everyone living here, whether they know it or not, and we are losing. We are losing tax revenue for our cities and counties, which reduces services we depend on, and we have lost jobs and businesses.

We need a strong, organized chamber where we roll up our sleeves and work. This is hardly the sales pitch people expect for their $60 membership fee, but it’s the truth.

Our businesses strive to be the places where our customers want to shop, to provide the services they need, and to be the places they socialize. But to compete with the big boxes, we need to work together and ask our customers to think local first and it’s much better if we ask them together, united. Please join the chamber, sign up for a committee, we’ll make a difference, and I promise we will all have fun in the process.