"It's a joint effort," she said. "Everybody just works together and we all are still friends after it's over."
In addition to local efforts, the Holtville chamber is a member of the Joint Chambers of Commerce. Chamber treasurer Gene Wilcox represents Holtville at the Joint Chambers' meetings and is
the chairman of the Business Showcase.
Holtville chamber Executive Secretary Dana Hawk said the chamber has 130 members and about 75-80 percent are businesses. Membership includes farmers, farm-related businesses, restaurants, grocers, banks, insurance agents and
"It's a small town — everybody knows everybody, everybody is willing to
support us and work with us," Nelson said.
Nelson said the chamber would like to update its brochure and get out to the
"The Valley is changing all the time. Yes, we'd like to bring business to Holtville but we'd like to keep it the small town atmosphere," she said.
Added Chilcott: "We want to keep the small town atmosphere but we want to grow."
Wilcox said when Highway 7 is in place near town in coming years, it may spur growth.
"Most of the new businesses are on the 86 corridor," he said.
Nelson also thinks Highway 7 may help Holtville.
"We have a lot to offer but we're kind of isolated," Nelson said.
For Holtville to grow, more residences are needed as well as a larger tax base.
"One of the things we're looking for is some kind of housing development," Chilcott said.
"I think there are a couple in the works," added Nelson.
While the chamber members and others are supportive, Holtville has a relatively small population of about 6,000 to call upon for assistance, meaning businesses are asked to contribute frequently.
"We'd like to see some clean industry come in here and give us some kind of tax base so the individuals don't have to take care of the schools and the
streets," Chilcott said.
Despite its size, Holtville residents seem to agree it is the best place to live in the Imperial Valley.
Wilcox said most residents of Holtville work outside the city but that doesn't change the fact that they choose to live in Holtville.
Said Nelson: "They still like to live in Holtville and go to Holtville schools.
"This is the best city to live in," she added.