Business Buzz: September 28th, 2017

Calexico Chamber of Commerce

Signature Events Lead Outreach Efforts In Border City

BY GARY REDFERN
Business Reporter

Along with promoting and supporting business in its border location, the Calexico Chamber of Commerce hosts a number annual major events, none perhaps well known than the Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras.

“It’s the signature event for Calexico,” said Daniel Romero, one of three chamber co-executives.

Explaining how the event, held each year the week after Mother’s Day, became a Calexico event after originally being held at the fairgrounds in Imperial, he added, “I knew about these Mariachi events in Phoenix. I thought it would be good business for Calexico.”

Like its local cousins, Cattle Call in Brawley and the Carrot Festival in Holtville, the Mariachi Festival has grown to an entire week of activities. They include a kick-off event, a local “idol” singing contest, salsa contest, sponsor’s dinner/tequila tasting and the main mariachi concert.

The Mariachi Festival is a relatively new addition to a chamber founded in 1924. Back then, Calexico was a small farming community and across the border Mexicali was just starting to grow. Today, the sister cities are an international business hub, with Mexicali boasting a population of over 1 million and numerous manufacturing plants, and Calexico a busy import
location, border crossing and retail destination for legions of Mexican shoppers.

Romero said to meet the changing needs of business and better serve the community the chamber re-organized this July from having a typical president/vice president structure to having three co-executives. Romero, a customs broker, is joined in that role by businessman Gil Acuna and attorney Eduardo Rivera.

“Having three of us, if one is not available, one of the others is and we can each promote the chamber,” he explained. “It’s more what the public sees as what the chamber is doing and it’s up to us to reach out to businesses.”

The chamber has monthly member meetings at rotating locations and the co-executives meet weekly, Romero added. The executive director, who Romero credits with keeping the operation running smoothly, is Hildy Carrillo.

Other major events held by the chamber are the Christmas parade the second Saturday in December (Dec. 9 this year), the Mardi Gras event/beer tasting/king-queen coronation held the Friday before Ash Wednesday and the Lava Lamp Awards in June, founded by Carrillo to honor those who have performed outstanding service to the community.

The chamber office is located at 1100 Imperial Ave. The phone number is (760) 3571166.

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Realtors Stage First Annual Food & Wine Festival

The Imperial County Association of REALTORS® invites you to its First Annual Food & Wine Festival on Thursday, October 5 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and all profits will be going to CASA of Imperial County, Court Appointed Special Advocates for children.

The event will be held at Cheval Farms outside Imperial.

Tickets can be purchased at the Imperial County Association of Realtor’s office located at 1858 W. Main Street, El Centro, CA. 92243. The office number is (760) 352-6010.

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Charter Partnered With Assemblymember Garcia For Event

Local government officials and community partners joined Charter executives to discuss Spectrum Internet Assist and bridging the digital divide in Imperial County. Pictured (L-R): Laurence Schott, Charter Communications; Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia; Ray Castillo, Imperial County Supervisor; Monica Lepe-Negrete, MANA de Imperial Valley; Martha Singh, MANA de Imperial Valley; Alex Cardenas, Mayor of El Centro; Jon LeDoux, El Centro Elementary School District Superintendent and Katherine Shapiro, Charter Communications.

Charter Communications partnered with Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia to discuss the importance of digital literacy and build awareness of Spectrum Internet Assist, a new low-cost, high-speed broadband service available to eligible families and seniors in qualifying households.

Charter Communications, Inc. joined by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Imperial County Supervisor Ray Castillo and El Centro Elementary School District Superintendent Jon LeDoux to discuss the importance of digital literacy and bridging the broadband divide. The event took place on Friday, September 22 at the El Centro Elementary School District in El Centro.

Community partners, educational leaders and local families joined Charter executives and employees to help build awareness of Spectrum Internet Assist, its new low-cost, high-speed broadband service available to eligible families and seniors in qualifying households.

“Internet access has become a modern day necessity and vital passport to health, economic and educational opportunities. Yet in this day and age, 30% of Californian households do not have access to high speed internet or a computer,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.

“Low-income, rural communities like those in Imperial County are hit the hardest by this shortfall. Our work with AB 1665, the Internet for All Now Act of 2017 would help our state to address this disparity.

I highly commend Charter Communications’ efforts to close the digital divide in communities like ours. Their assistance programs will provide much needed connectivity to low-income families and senior citizens. These regional partnerships are key to bringing about true internet equity.”

Spectrum Internet Assist helps deliver a whole new world of digital access and opportunities to low-income families and seniors. It is an important next step in providing high-speed connections to those who would otherwise continue to face a digital inequality.

The Internet service delivers industry-leading 30/4 Mbps broadband speeds for $14.99 per month for eligible families and seniors, and includes standard features like email, internet security software and a modem at no additional charge.