January 27, 2023

Try Everything at Least Once|  Angeli Calinog from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce:  Episode 15 of Twist of Fate 

Try Everything at Least Once|  Angeli Calinog from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce:  Episode 15 of Twist of Fate 

Regional Chambers of Commerce are undoubtedly a  resource for entrepreneurs, though it’s not always easy to see exactly how they can help nor is it always clear the best way to get involved. Angeli Calinog from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce sat down with Douglas Younger III, the host of the Twist of Fate podcast, to discuss how Chambers operate for the business community and why it’s so important for entrepreneurs to join one. 

What Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?

A Chamber of Commerce is the meeting point between business and politics. Because public policy affects business owners (and that affects the economy), business owners need a spot at the table. In San Diego, there are more than 3,500 organizations in the program, and that includes everything from corporations to nonprofits to small businesses. Participants don’t just meet up with one another, they talk to lawmakers too. These conversations, whether formal or not, give legislators a better idea of how each policy shift affects employees, customers, and the larger community. 

More Than Networking 

A Chamber of Commerce may have hundreds or even thousands of professionals under a single umbrella. Like any networking opportunity, these chats can inadvertently reveal how two organizations can strengthen one another. Beyond networking, it’s a chance to help the larger community. 

In San Diego, the chamber is dictated by the demographics that make up their neighborhoods. For instance, because the city has a substantial veteran population, the Chamber ensures this group has enough representation before policies are drafted. Angeli Canilog has worked at the Chamber for 6 years, and she’s seen the difference it makes to have the right voices in the mix. 

Canilog originally wanted to enter a field like social work, but she realized that she could do more good by working on behalf of the entire city rather than a select few families or individuals. She’s proud of the work that San Diego has done to strengthen its local ties and she and Younger encourage everyone in the business community to stick their neck out too. 

Do Entrepreneurs Have to Belong to a Chamber of Commerce?

No, but they’re losing out if they don’t. No matter what your personality type is or how little free time you have, there’s no benefit to being isolated. Younger can speak first-hand about how his work in the Chamber has helped his business. Douglas Younger III isn’t just a part of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, he actively collaborates by running webinars to aspiring entrepreneurs. 

In the webinars, he digs into the details of what it means to run a business and shape a brand. These webinars are carefully planned so they actually resonate with an audience. As a (very) outgoing guy, it’s easy for him to be a part of these groups, but he and Angeli also talk about why it’s more than just being the life of the party at cocktail hour. 

Try Everything at Least Once 

Angeli Canilog’s advice boiled down to trying everything at least once. Whatever your Chamber of Commerce offers, try it out and see. Younger points out that you might not always see a financial return from your endeavors, but you can’t let this stop you. Sometimes what seems like idle chit chat is the beginning of a huge opportunity. (It’s worth noting that 3STEPS4WARD came to partner with the San Diego Gulls by being involved with the Chamber.)

Chambers of Commerce are a direct link to the state of the economy, otherwise known as the backbone of the community. Being a part of it is a sign that you’re taking initiative within your city, which can help you establish your permanence and reputation. It’s all a part of an overarching theme in business: if you keep showing up, expressing your passion, and getting better at what you do, the money will follow. 


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