Last month, the Chamber's Business Advocacy Committee finalized its 2021 legislative issues policy, which was subsequently adopted by the Chamber's Board of Directors. This policy is intended to be a guide for the Chamber's positions on various legislative and policy matters. It is not intended to cover all issues that the Chamber may address.
Support a commitment to pursuing policies that create and retain a balance of job opportunities for a variety of businesses and employees, including encouraging high-paying jobs that strengthen the local economy.
Support local, state and federal proposals to provide jobs via infrastructure projects and encourage government to utilize local contractors and suppliers. Support the city of Oxnard's efforts to assure fiscal responsibility, and to fill any financing gap resulting from the elimination of state and federal funding.
Support federal legislation to decriminalize cannabis or reclassify it as a lower than "Schedule I" drug to allow the industry to establish normal banking relationships.
Health and Public Safety:
Support federal, state and local programs that provide services, clean shelter and transitional housing for the homeless population. Support funding and programs to enhance disaster planning and responses.
Support strategies that include promoting a full range of housing in all communities; support federal and state incentives for providing workforce housing; and reform the regulatory framework to eliminate unnecessary barriers to providing housing. Support efforts to assure neighboring communities provide adequate housing for their workforces. Support housing strategies and projects that maintain a healthy jobs/housing balance.
Support significant reforms to California's political process as well as the state's revenue structure; support state and local governments' efforts to achieve or maintain balanced budgets.
Support policies that encourage continuing improvement in California and local infrastructure, which supports stronger businesses and job growth.
Support reforms of federal immigration laws that assure an adequate workforce while addressing border security and the status of undocumented workers.
Support a healthy business growth and land use environment and oppose local initiatives that would unduly constrict business attraction, development and expansion.
Support trade and tourism initiatives to spur commerce and to maximize our region's position in the global economy.
Support enhanced public safety efforts and preserve funding for existing programs and staffing. Public safety should be a top priority for local government.
The Oxnard Chamber Ambassador’s committee is an important resource for chamber members. With a
“customer-facing” mission, the Ambassadors are the field team that liaise with members and help them
better engage with chamber resources, events and other chamber members. Our team conducts
welcome introductions with new members, and check-in’s with existing members. Because of our
ongoing communications, the team has a strong pulse on the Oxnard business community and is a
valuable source of referrals.
Due to the pandemic, businesses all over Oxnard are struggling. We need Ambassadors more than ever
to reach out and support our members at this time. We are inviting chamber members who want to
engage more in the Oxnard business community, and network with our team, to visit one of our
meetings and assess whether there is interest in joining as an Ambassador. We’re a fun group, and
meet on the first Wednesday of every month at noon.
As Ambassadors, we are also interested in learning more about local businesses so we can engage and
refer them. If you would like to introduce your business to our team, we would be happy to set up a 10-
minute slot for you. Just reach out to Doug Riffenburgh, Ambassador Committee Chair at 818-390-3009.
We look forward to talking with you!
Shoptimism is a term being used to describe purchases made from home during the pandemic. You are stuck at home and suddenly begin to see every flaw, paint chip and cluttered closet. So, you buy things to fix the situation — or you buy things to make you feel better about it.
When consumers buy things they don't need, such as luxury items, in the middle of a public health crisis, it's called "shoptimism." This term was coined by Lee Eisenberg in his 2009 book of the same title.
Why Do We Buy Things?
According to Eisenberg, people buy things to provide emotional relief from the anxiety of living in a pandemic and economically uncertain times. He describes two kinds of buyers. The classic buyer compares prices, deliberates on whether they need a product and then makes a purchase. The romantic buyer shops emotionally, purchasing trendy or "cool" items that boost their emotional state. In general, the romantic buyer cares about the emotional satisfaction of the purchase rather than the utility of the product.
E-commerce and M-commerce
Consumers are used to the convenience of online shopping (e-commerce), especially via their mobile devices (m-commerce). The click-and-collect culture isn't going anywhere soon. Not only is it safer but the convenience and faster delivery times make it easier than shopping in stores. Generous return policies sealed the deal.'
The rise of in-store pickup makes it easy to order online, drive up for contactless service and refuse any items that do not meet your expectations. This frictionless experience has risen due to the global pandemic, but consumers are likely to demand it for long afterwards.
Savvy brands will continue to capitalize on this moving into 2021. Even shoppers who do visit traditional stores now pre-research products and services online. Vendors who cannot meet consumers in cyberspace may find themselves pushed aside by competitors with a strong digital presence.
Contactless shopping and payment provide a safe way for consumers to purchase online and pick up at participating stores. Consumers can also use the technology to shop or pay for items at retail stores.
Using biometrics and Amazon One technology, consumers scan one palm to make purchases at participating stores. Privacy advocates are watching the new technology as closely as facial-recognition software, which raised concerns with the ACLU and other advocate groups.
The technology does not require physical contact and palm images are encrypted in the cloud rather than on local devices. Users can delete their Amazon one account if security becomes a concern.
Younger Generations Are Exhibiting Shoptimism
Generation Z has been hit hard by the pandemic employment situation. The youngest generation in the workforce is often the first let go in a downturn and those graduating from college may have a harder time finding employment in their field.
Research from Smart Company, an Australian publication, showed a rise in purchases among Gen Z shoppers from shopping platforms offering payment plans. These shoppers appreciated the safety, anonymity and speed of online transactions. Perhaps that's why usage of e-commerce and m-commerce is increasingly popular among demographically younger shoppers.
Shoptimism goes beyond the recent tendency of homebound consumers to make frivolous purchases online. New technology and changing consumer expectations make it imperative that businesses take their brands to the internet if they want to attract consumers away from competitors.
The pandemic-induced economic crisis has many beloved small businesses struggling for survival. In the face of events that are far beyond their control, it can be tempting to make desperate, emotional pleas to your clientele. While it's tempting, this sort of approach simply doesn't work.
While it's possible to tug at the heartstrings of customers to help draw them in and keep your business afloat, you should never posture as the recipient of charity. Customers go to a business for what it can do for them, not to help a hapless victim.
Instead of being the victim who needs saving, be the guide that customers need in these difficult times.
Heroes, Villains, Guides, and Victims
Author Donald Miller, founder of Business Made Simple University, hit the nail on the head with his concept of brands as stories. Successful marketing campaigns rely on telling a compelling story.
Throughout the history of storytelling, both ancient and modern, there are really only a few roles.
The Hero can be an underdog, according to Miller, but not a Villain. If your business is in dire financial straits, painting yourself as a victim is a weak marketing position. In one sense, you have been victimized by events far out of your control, but so has everyone else. Making the crisis about you and your business defies marketing wisdom.
While being the victim is your worst course of action, positioning your business as the Hero isn't much better. Miller recommends that you position your target audience as the Hero. Successful charity fundraising drives do not succeed by focusing on how great the charity foundation is, but by emphasizing the good that a viewer does by donating. The only key role left for your business to play is that of the Guide.
How You Can Help Customers
Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan Kenobi, Neo had Morpheus; the list of great guides in fiction goes on and on. A guide can take many forms, but the essence of the role is that they might have been a hero themselves in the past. Now, their experience and expertise play an indispensable role in supporting the main character of the story.
Now more than ever, our community needs guides. The pandemic-fueled crises of 2020 have each of us searching for some sense of normalcy and security. Instead of posturing as the victim, make your case as to how you can guide your future customer, the hero, make it through this difficult period. Center on the customer and their problems, demonstrating your solution. If your messaging can compel prospects to take action from a trusted guide (you), then you'll earn their business.
At the Chamber's Business Advocacy Committee meeting on February 8, 2021, the County of Ventura's Public Information Officer Ashley Bautista and Economic Vitality Manager Gloria Martinez provided updates on COVID vaccines, testing and more. They encouraged the business community to visit the Business section on vcrecovers.org for comprehensive information on outbreak reporting, financial assistance, mobile onsite testing and more.
Martinez also shared strategies for employers regarding vaccinations and their workers.
Designate a Vaccination Lead for the Company
Educate Your Employees About Vaccination Distribution
Make it Easier for Employees to Be Vaccinated