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Our Opinion: Showcase proves cooperation a must

January 21, 2001

Not too long ago, the Imperial Valley lost an opportunity to have a regional mall primarily due to a lack of cooperation.

The Imperial Valley Joint Chambers of Commerce has shown that cooperation is alive in the Valley.

Business Showcase 2001 was sold out for the second straight year despite additional space being added. Not only did it bring more than 130 businesses for networking and as an introduction to the community, it showed a Valley-wide cooperative effort could be a success.

And quite a success it was. The joint chambers estimate that 3,000 people attended the event, and we think that number is conservative. For the entire four-hour run, the Preble Building at the Imperial Valley Expo was packed.

For those attending the event, it was a nice opportunity to learn about services available, see what new features and products local businesses have to offer, and, of course, to get some free stuff. Most businesses gave away promotional material and a number of restaurants and grocery stores provided free samples throughout the evening.


On the business end, not only were merchants afforded an opportunity to lure new customers, they were able to seek new services for their business. Members of different chambers of commerce may not have many chances to interact; the joint chambers' showcase brought vendors together from throughout the Valley.

The third annual event was a huge success. It showed a spirit of cooperation, and it showed there are many businesses growing in the Valley, offering a wide range of services and products. Most importantly, it provided a means for bringing together customer with business. And bringing customers to local businesses rather than having them leave is a goal shared by the Joint Chambers.

We hope the spirit of cooperation shown by the Joint Chambers can spread to the Valley's cities and that a regional attitude can prevail in the Imperial Valley so that we never again lose business to infighting.

With the economy the way it is and jobs scarce in the Valley, we cannot afford to work against each other any longer. It certainly appears the joint chambers know this. We hope others realize that as well.

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