Some business owners have told us confidentially that they belong to the G.J. Chamber, that they strongly disagree with what the Chamber has been doing politically and want to leave it, but believe their business may be threatened if they do. Others have said they belonged to the Chamber at one time but left for different reasons: they felt they got no real value from their membership, membership was too expensive or they were irked by the Chamber’s multi-tiered membership structure that gives greater benefits and exposure to big corporations while providing few benefits for smaller, locally-owned businesses.
Share Your Story
Have you been a member of the Chamber? Were you impressed with them? How? Or were you disappointed? If so, why? Tell us your story using the form below. You can remain completely anonymous, but we may contact you and ask permission to use your information as an anonymous testimonial, so information on people’s experiences with the Chamber can be shared publicly. We will not post anything without explicit prior approval.
“You are definitely on the right track and doing the right thing. I found out about you on tonight’s Ch 8 TV news. You can add my business name to your list of non-member businesses: [business name withheld].”
“I was a Chamber member in the early 2000’s when we ran [business name withheld] downtown. It was a complete waste of money AND they did not represent my interests at all. So happy to see someone standing up the the old boy status quo here in the ‘happy Valley.’ Keep up the good work!!!”
“When I ran for office back in 2010 I went to the Chamber for an interview. I knew right away they wouldn’t support me. Their attitude was horrific. They are a bunch of rich folk who care nothing for Grand Junction and only what goes into their pockets. That was made clear to me in the way they acted. I hate to tell them this but they are not better than anyone and they need to realize this. I am now a successful business owner and would never join their organization.” — Steve Saint
“I met Diane Schwenke about 4 years ago. She was so professional and helpful. Diane is well respected in the chamber industry. She does not look to take a political position as you state. Diane has worked hard to support and promote the business community. Who among you….whoever you are… you should put your names on this site, not just be “Grand Junction” citizens….has ever made a mistake, made an off color joke, judged someone? Probaby (sic) all of you. Who has thought someone was of good character, only to find out they are not who they say they are? Prbably (sic) all of you. If you really cared about your community….you would take this site down and stop attacking Diane and the chamber.” —Terri Leben, former head of the Montrose Chamber
“Our business on Main Street, [name omitted], was the first small business to pull out of the Chamber because of their political antics and their support of Rick Brainard. As part of our business, for two weeks we taught an all-day class, so people were coming to our store from out of town. One of our customers called the G.J. Chamber to inquire where we were located. The Chamber went as far as to say they had no idea, but the caller would not relent and finally they told her they thought we were located somewhere on Main, but the caller already knew this much. After pulling and tugging, they finally told her we were ‘somewhere by Suehiro’s.’ How petty. All along they knew exactly where we were! Tacky, tacky, tacky. Do they not realize they are hurting themselves by giving misinformation or no info. Hand them a shovel, because they are digging their own graves by simply opening their mouths. We were members, and for our two years of fees to the Chamber totaling around $800.00 a year, all we got was a nice sticker to put on our window, period. After we pulled out, they supposedly finally sent the ribbon cutting crew to our business, however could they not produce a write-up of it in the paper because it did not really happen. Giving this chamber money is like feeding it to bears. They just eat it up and sh*t it out, period. Oh, and they pay their CEO major bucks at $102,000/year, plus an expense account of around $23,000. Their CEO went on the air and stated they were not really for small businesses, they were after the big box stores. Our downtown is beautiful and the Chamber could care less. Read the documentation and draw your own conclusion, but I intend to boycott all businesses that are Chamber members. Many of them are not members and the number is growing. It is hard times on Main Street right now and we could use some love. Our Chamber is two blocks away from downtown. I challenge you, Chamber, to come visit all the store owners on Main Street and tell them what you are going to do for them? I will be waiting for my call.” —[business name omitted] Manager