In today's episode I sit down with the President and CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Elise Swanson, to talk about all things small business. We discuss the needs of the local small business community, the challenges they face and what she envisions for the future.
EPISODE DATE: 5/17/2019
Elise Swanson is the President and CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and represents more than 400 businesses and organizations. She has served as the District Director for U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn while she was in Congress and has over 30 years of experience in economic development, small business development, fundraising, planning and outreach. Elise has also worked for the cities of Whittier and Santa Ana but now lives and works locally here in San Pedro.
She shares the importance of providing resources for local businesses as most are not equipped with the resources of a large corporation, for example. Smaller businesses do not have an Human Resources department or a Legal department. These needs have to be addressed by the small business owner and often they are not knowledgeable in these affairs. This is where the Chamber of Commerce can help. Elise explains all the challenges small business owner run into and how the Chamber of Commerce provides resources to find their answers. The Chamber also provides workshops on specific subjects that cater to the local business owners and are designed to address their needs.
Elise also shares some of her concerns regarding the community. One of which is the spreading of misinformation on social media sites such as Facebook. She mostly avoids social media because of the negativity that is usually built up. Elise is, however, very hopeful about the future and the changes we'll see in the near future with all the development. She shares that the goal for the Chamber of Commerce is to stimulate the local economy and ensure that the small businesses in the area are well provided for with local dollars being spent in the community as opposed to nearby cites like Torrance or Long Beach. The Chamber is currently focusing on capitalizing on tourism dollars making large efforts to see the local business patronized by tourists.
The Chamber will play a huge role in the future of our local business community and she encourages anyone looking to start a business to make themselves known to the chamber so that they can better assist them in any of their needs. Many resources are available for free but by becoming a member businesses can benefit from exclusive services.
San Pedro Chamber of Commerce