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s we enter the final months of 2021, we reflect on a year filled with impacts on businesses, but celebrate getting back to time-honored traditions. As spring turned into summer and as more doors opened and restrictions decreased, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce understood the challenges that many businesses faced operating in a post-pandemic world. The Chamber created customer messaging kits for members to communicate during the employment crisis. We thank our community for its patience and understanding as businesses continue to transition into this next phase and for its ongoing support of #loyaltolocal.

The Visalia Chamber is proud to continue to provide networking opportunities for our members, local businesses and young professionals. Monthly Ambassador Breakfasts continue to take place, offering a platform for members to hear the latest Chamber news while connecting with fellow ambassadors. Business After Hours will return this month with San Joaquin Valley College. Business After Hours mixers provide the chance to visit a Chamber member and connect with local business leaders. The Chamber’s Young Professional Network (YPN) kicked off a new season of events by taking over the Visalia Rawhide Hall of Fame Club in August. YPN Monthly Meet-Ups are expected to start again this month. Check out YPN’s social media pages for the latest updates.

This month, the fall 2021 Jr. CEO program will kick off. The Chamber is excited to bring back Jr. CEO Hot Chocolate Day on Nov. 6. Students in the program will take what they learned and set up their businesses across Visalia. Previously, Jr. CEOs have partnered with local businesses to host their hot chocolate stands. If you are interested in being a business host, please contact Jena Rodriguez at the Chamber: jena@visaliachamber.org or (559) 734-5876.

News broke in April that Oktoberfest would make a comeback this year, set for Sept. 24 at Vossler Farms. The Visalia Chamber of Commerce is excited to bring back this event, which highlights some of the best of what the Central Valley has to offer. In 2019, the event sold out with 1,500 attendees showcasing the valley’s best food, wine and beer. A limited number of vendor applications and event tickets can be found at visaliachamber.org/oktoberfest.

As a catalyst, convener and champion of local business, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce looks forward to closing out 2021 by providing strong leadership opportunities, platforms for strong connections and advocacy efforts for a strong business community.