Wanted: CalChamber Members to Support Small Business Interests

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the California economy, driving innovation and creating millions of jobs. Recognizing the vital role these businesses play, the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) has established the Small Business Policy Council (SBPC) to champion the interests of this important sector of our state’s economy.

The SBPC, a small group of leaders representing local chambers of commerce, CalChamber small business members and CalChamber Board members, has been meeting since last winter to develop programs and partnerships to support small businesses and raise their voices during policy debates.

The SBPC serves as a voice for the small business community within CalChamber, advocating policies that support business growth and economic development. The council’s goal is to ensure that small businesses have the tools and policy environment they need to succeed.

Core Council Functions

• Advocacy: One of the primary roles of the SBPC is to influence policymaking processes to favor the development of small businesses. This involves serving as an important pillar of CalChamber’s grassroots advocacy initiatives.

• Education: The council also focuses on developing business training and educational resources for CalChamber members, including the recently announced Pro-Biz Partnership. Future offerings will include workshops, webinars, and newsletters to keep members informed and prepared.

• Networking Opportunities: The SBPC allows members to connect with peers, industry leaders, and experts from across the state who can provide unique insights and opportunities.

Seeking Recruits

We’re continuing to recruit CalChamber member businesses to join the SBPC. If you’re a small business owner, executive or manager, and are interested in joining the council, here’s what you need to know.

Benefits of Joining

• Influence and Impact: As a member of the SBPC, you will have direct input into the policies that affect your business. This is a chance to advocate for changes that can make a real difference to the small business community.

• Resources and Support: The council connects members with access to a wealth of resources, policy expertise and updates.

• Community and Collaboration: Joining the SBPC means becoming part of a community of like-minded individuals who are committed to improving the business landscape for everyone.

Who We Are Looking For

We are seeking energized and dedicated CalChamber members who are eager to contribute their time and expertise to the betterment of California’s small businesses.

If you are a business leader or entrepreneur who is already a member of CalChamber and are interested in joining the Small Business Policy Council, please fill out the brief interest form at this link.

Staff Contact: Nick Ortiz

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Nick Ortiz, who joined the California Chamber of Commerce in February 2023, was promoted in October 2023 to head the newly created CalChamber Small Business Policy Center, assuming the role of vice president of small business advocacy. In addition to enhancing the efforts of small business employers to let policy makers know how government requirements affect the day-to-day workings and profitability of small companies, Ortiz continues to serve as an information resource for and CalChamber liaison with local chambers of commerce. Before joining the CalChamber team, Ortiz was president and CEO of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce from April 2015 to February 2023. Ortiz’s previous experience includes positions with the Western States Petroleum Association, PG&E, Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, United Way and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz. See full bio