Arnold Gallegos says whenever a convention or festival arrives in Pueblo, the staff at Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce recommends that visitors contact his company. Those recommendations result in a great deal of business for him.
Gallegos is president and owner of Shuttle Service of Southern Colorado, and has been a chamber member since 1999.
“Yes, the chamber throws me a lot of shuttle business – in fact, they use me exclusively for charters to and from the main parking lot at the annual Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival,” Gallegos says. “They have also called me to transport several legislators to and from Pueblo Memorial Airport. Being a Pueblo chamber member has many advantages.”
Bob Nicholson, owner of Southwest Brokerage Corp. and a chamber member since 1974, thinks the biggest value of the Pueblo chamber is that they are the marketing arm of the city.
“Those folks market to prospective residents, companies and employees who might be considering Pueblo as a new home,” Nicholson says. “That kind of growth is vital to our economy, and the chamber is always trumpeting what Pueblo is all about. Their staff attends trade shows, organizes events to bring people to Pueblo, and does promotional pieces such as Images Pueblo magazine. I will remain a chamber member as long as I’m in business.”
Elizabeth Gallegos, owner of Euphoria Salon, sponsors an event each August called Free Kids Cut Day. It provides free haircuts to any child throughout Pueblo, and the chamber is a major promoter of the proceedings.
“This event results in free haircuts to about 200 kids, and the chamber helps pass out fliers and posts the event on their website, where the information is very easy to access,” Gallegos says. “One nice story is that in 2009, we gave haircuts to several children in one family and saved them $75, and the mother told me that she was then able to buy new shoes for all her children for school.”
Gallegos, a chamber member for 10 years, adds that the Pueblo chamber also asks for feedback from all small business owners in an effort to help make those businesses more successful.
“The chamber often e-mails helpful information and helps my business in many other ways,” she says. “I had my best year ever in 2009 and expect the numbers to be just as strong in 2010, and I credit the chamber with assisting with my overall success. I will always be a Pueblo chamber member.”
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