The Visalia Chamber offers Programs to Support Small Businesses and Leadership

Written by: Colin Franey, Franey's Carpet One Floor & Home Design Center
Who can tell me what the Visalia Chamber of Commerce does besides sponsor the Young Professionals Network (YPN) and host awesome events supporting the community like the annual Christmas Tree Auction or Oktoberfest?
The Chamber is an active and important organization in our community, advocating on behalf of its members and the business community at large. It supports and raises awareness for important causes and helps connect citizens and businesses to each other. It also sponsors two programs that any professional should consider enrolling in.
The first is the Emerge Program. Targeted towards entrepreneurs, whether it be those who are just taking the first steps in turning a business idea in to a reality or those who have already taken the leap and opened their doors, the benefits are countless. I am only half-way through the program and have already gleaned new insights in to ways I can strengthen my business. It also has me asking questions that I didn't even realize I needed to be asking, and now I am!

The second program is Leadership Visalia. Meant as a professional development program it has the ancillary effect of introducing the participants to vital areas of our community, think government, education, agriculture, and healthcare. The class is challenged to complete a project meant to better the community, this year's class is establishing an annual book fair. Upon completion of the program I had new friends, a much larger network spanning a wide variety of professions, a better understanding of the issues our community faces and how we collectively choose to address them, and had become more invested and involved in my new home.

I am a recent transplant to Visalia and my participation in these programs has dramatically and positively shaped my short time here. However, you don't need to be new to town or trying to start a business to benefit from either of these programs. All that is required is a desire to improve yourself and your community, a willingness to step outside your comfort zone, and to become a student again. While I still have so much to learn about running a small business and my home of Visalia, I am more confident, ready, and excited to do so because of Leadership Visalia and the Emerge Program.
For more information about Emerge and Leadership Visalia go to

Non-Profit Spotlight ...  AMVETS (American Veterans) Dept of CA

We are a non-profit Veterans Service Organization providing services and programs to Veterans and their families at no cost. We were the first Veteran Service Organization chartered by the Federal Government in 1945. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who has served since September 1940.
Some of our programs and services include: Service Officers that assist with filing for VA benefits, Scholarships for Veterans, Legislative Advocacy,  Homeless Veteran Outreach, Food Pantry, JROTC, Career Center, Career and/or job clothing, Americanism contests, VA Volunteer services, Sick & Hospitalized Veterans programs, Community Services projects
We are seeing the following from potential supporters:  Financial support, Donate furniture & household items to the thrift store, shop at the thrift store, sponsor a career clothes or furniture drive, sponsor events, volunteers for community events. community services projects like a food drive for pantry items. 
For more information go to 

Information Session: YPN Mission Trip to South Africa
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
6:30 - 8:00 pm 
The Cabin - 216 E. School St. 
Project Summary: Crossroads CZN is a faith based non-profit organization in Durban, South Africa whose mission is to work to alleviate human suffering and restore an individual's dignity by addressing their immediate physical needs while offering meaningful solutions to the effects of poverty.
The YPN group will help Crossroads with projects around: building, education and clean water.
Dates: August 24 - September 1, 2018
Cost: $3,000 - Attend the info session to learn about how to fundraise for this trip.


The next YPN Meet Up will be held
5:30 pm
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Come out to meet new people and enjoy a drink after work
Global Leadership Summit 2018
August 9 - 10

The Global Leadership Summit is a leadership resource to be leveraged in your business. Everyone has influence and the ability to positively impact their community and world. No matter where your influence is-in the family, school, work or church-when you commit to grow your leadership, everyone around you wins! Each faculty member is carefully selected to deliver intellectually rigorous content in an environment that fosters vigorous thinking and dialogue. This year's Global Leadership Summit is simulcast LIVE in HD here locally at Visalia First. 
Register Today for the Super Early Bird rate of $189 *  Group Rates available
Register Today at
Host Site: Visalia First | 3737 S. Akers St Visalia, CA 93277

New Businesses Coming to Visalia

  • The Salad Shop is coming to Visalia and will be taking the old Fat Darin's site in the Mineral King Plaza.
  • Stacked Bar and Grill is coming to East Downtown adjacent to Barrelhouse Brewing and feature a similar family friendly environment.
  • In other burger news, Inland Empire based Cowboy Burgers and BBQ is proposing a new location adjacent to the ARCO AM/PM currently under construction in the business research park near the industrial park.
  • A new Starbuck's and Deli Delicious will be coming to the Shannon Village shopping center found at Mooney and Riggin
  • Sunrise Laboratories will be locating to 8020 W. Doe in the industrial park. The location will bring 50 new employees to the park. 
  • As mentioned in the Visalia Times-Delta article by John Lindt, Adventure Park recently came through site plan review to add waterslides and other water features to beat the heat! The project got a revise and proceed through site plan review and the next step for the family entertainment destination will be planning commission for a conditional use permit for the water features specifically.
  • The Convention Center announces multiple upcoming special events that are brand new and ready to rock downtown Visalia. The Health & Fitness Expo is taking place on June 24th and vendors are now invited to apply. In addition, July 7th marks the Indoor Yard Sale and July 29th brings the Quinceanera Expo. For updates and more information, visit the Convention Center online at