A Strong Foundation

By: Josh Cross, Interim CEO & President of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce

The year 2020 has brought its fair share of surprising challenges and hardships that the community and the Chamber has had to navigate. Despite the circumstances, local businesses have used 2020 challenges as a catalyst to create innovative ideas, building new channels and foundations for growth. Retailers are selling products over social media platforms, restaurants are offering to-go cocktails, and wineries were doing virtual tastings. Here at the Atascadero Chamber, we’ve used this time to invest in building a strong foundation for our community. We’re working hard to ensure that we’ll have a solid ground to stand together on for 2021 and beyond.

What does investing in the foundation of our community actually mean? For us, it means two things. First, it’s equipping local businesses with tools and spaces they needed to help their organizations thrive. This led us to launch Workshop Wednesdays. Every week, business owners can tune in to learn new digital tools and advice from the experts. However, we didn’t stop there; providing the space to succeed was just as important as the education portion. To this end, we’re currently adding even more private offices to BridgeWorks

Co-Working to provide a dedicated working environment right in the middle of downtown Atascadero for entrepreneurs, remote workers, and those without an official brick and mortar store. Second, investing in our community’s foundation means building programs and advocating for things that benefit the community. We’ve taken a comprehensive dive into this and addressed it in several ways. First, we worked with our Diversity Council to launch Diversity Works, helping share education information to foster inclusivity and understanding. Then we started A-Talks, a virtual event series, connecting residents, local business owners, and city leaders while sharing essential updates for our town. Last but not least, we took up advocacy and facilitated conversations about Measure D-20. We knew that the passing of this Measure would allow for better staffing of our fire and police departments and provide them with the means for critical improvements resulting in increased safety and services from our first responders for all of Atascadero.

While I can’t say for sure what 2021 has in store, I can confidently state that together we have all worked to build a stronger foundation for our Atasca-mazing community for 2021.

Josh Cross

Interim President & CEO of the Atascadero Chamber | Josh Cross

Josh Cross is a longtime Central Coast local, having grown up right here in Atascadero. He has a strong knowledge of governmental and community issues, in addition to economic development. Previously he worked as the Director of Economic Development for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce, and has always been passionate about the incredible work Chambers can do for their community.