Featured speaker was Consultant Clint Koble, Advisor for Sierra Small Business Development Center “SBDC” out of Truckee. He services Plumas, Lassen and Modoc Counties. He was born and raised on a family farm and loves rural America.
On how to build a strategic plan, he told how COVID-19 has affected businesses, non-profits and communities. He stated realtors had done okay but mom and pops not so much and probably get the least attention and assistance but are what make communities function. He called it a “domino affect.”
He suggested relocation packages to grow our community. He talked how Plumas County used to give aid to chambers and how it’s been tough on resources and staffing.
Koble stated by 2024 over half of tourists would be Millennials with families who want to travel. He called them “more demanding,” and want it all on the phone. They’ll want exponential tourism, about adventure and experience. He mentioned Greenhorn Ranch, the premier guest dude ranch in Quincy with all it has to offer. They’ll want vacations authentic and personalization and an emphasis on friendly ecotourism. Trails help make it a unique authentic experience and he talked of there being more 3-day week ends.
He added there will be more senior and solo travel with a demand for locally grown healthy food. There needs to be convenient booking and keeping websites up and working closer with one another to share resources and link to each other.
For a good strategic plan, he used Lassen County’s as a model which he called short, clear and concise with mission, vision and goals. They update the plan every January and have a relocation package and drone footage. For Mission, he stated it’s “do what for whom,” no more than one sentence. Vision is “What’s the result?” The strategy is “How are you going to increase 10%?”
He told the need to update websites, public relations and volunteering and sharing grant writers. He stated County employees need to go to Chamber meetings. The County, Chamber and businesses and City should all be on the same page and talk economic development with a liaison between the County and Chambers – “all part of beautiful Plumas County.” He loved the concept of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship to connect communities.
Under question by Plumas County Supervisor Jeff Engel why he’d come to Plumas County, Koble responded, “It’s a beautiful place to live and work.”
Opened for public comment, Kathi Burton reflected on when the Chamber was supported by its membership.
Chamber members were appreciated by Tiffiney Lozano of Spanish Peak Production, stating members were “doing it because you care.”
Richard Aiple from Nakoma Golf reported they’d had “more rounds than ever.” Golfing was called the “saving grace” for a lot of folks who drove up to golf because of COVID-19.
Donna Mills stated the Lost Sierra Chamber office in Blairsden is closed to the public, “out of funds,” treading water, adding it was open when the forest service and parks were closed. Business Manager Jan Tew told how they’d make $17,000 usually with events and now have a deficit, not allowed to have one event with concerts and the NRA dinners cancelled. But she stated the Chamber would open in February.
A handout showed international visitors for years 2017-2020 until the international ban. Visitors came from Netherlands, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden to name a few. Domestic visitors came from nearly every city and state. Interests ranged from campgrounds to hiking, horseback riding, lakes, parks, national forests and locally, the railroad museum, barn quilt tours, Frenchman and Davis Lakes and the Pacific Crest Trail.
The SBDC offers free trainings and workshops for small businesses. Koble can be reached at (775)843-4081.
On January 21st there is a Restaurant Survival Strategies workshop from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Register with Nicole@orcalsbdc.org
On February 18th there is a Zoom meeting for all Plumas County chambers with 3-5 representatives from each chamber with location to be announced.
In talking of meeting and working with one another, Koble extended that to Sierra County Chambers, too. Watch for information.