Archive for July, 2012

Bad News from El Paso

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Check out the website of the Greater El Paso Chamber of
Commerce and you’ll find the proud claim that “Small Business
is BIG Business at The Greater El Paso Chamber of
Commerce.”
According to the website, the chamber is “focused on enhancing
the business community in El Paso” and is “opportunity
focused, integrity based, supporting community and
military partnerships to enhance the economic prosperity of
the region.”
Sadly, however, all that doesn’t seem to be much more than
empty marketing copy these days, if the organization’s recent
decision to endorse Office Depot as their preferred supplier
offers any indication.
The chamber’s president told the local newspaper they had
held off putting such a deal together before now because,
he said, “There was a proliferation of small office product
type stores that existed at the time and clearly that’s not the
case in today’s environment.”
That’s got to be news for the 24 small business locations
that show up on El Paso’s yellowpages.com website when
you search for office supplies.
We suspect most of them have been long-time chamber
members and right now they’re probably wondering what exactly
the chamber thinks it’s giving them for their annual dues.
Forget about Office Depot’s recent pattern of payments to state
and local government customers across the country to settle
allegations of overcharging and other contract irregularities.
Ignore the fact that independents—and there are some outstanding
ones in El Paso—figured out quite some time ago
how to compete on price against the big boxes and have
been doing just that with considerable success when the
playing field is fair and level.
Focus instead on the sheer hypocrisy of an organization that
has no problem undermining small business members that
have supported it for years if it means an opportunity to go
chasing a few extra bucks for its coffers.
Opportunity focused? Maybe. Integrity based? You’ve got
to be kidding!

from July Independent Dealer magazine-Simon De Groot

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