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Beaumont Now January 2014

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Happy New Year! By Robin L. Knight, President 2013 has come to an end and here we are again welcoming in a brand new year. I want to thank the Chamber Staff, our Volunteers, and the Board of Directors for their countless hours of service to make sure all of our members needs were met and exceeded. We are all looking forward to the Chamber Installation Dinner and Citizen of the Year Dinner on Jan. 16, at the Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon. This event will truly be a night to be remembered and my sincere thanks go to Sheri Bogh and Melina Wood for their countless hours they dedicate to make this a night to remember. During the installation dinner, we will be awarding the prestigious "Beaumont Citizen of the Year" award. This year, we recognize Linda Hanley from the Bank of Hemet for her ongoing support of not only the Beaumont Chamber and our business community but countless other non-profits including Habitat for Humanity, Fire Museum, Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, Calimesa Chamber of Commerce, Banning Chamber of Commerce, the San Gorgonio Hospital, Help Inc. and the list goes on and on. Linda's devotion and dedication to helping businesses and non profit communities in the Pass Area has earned her esteemed respect from all. I am convinced that Linda Hanley has more fans than Santa Claus. Great job Linda! I sincerely hope that 2014 will find us prosperous and in good health. I am encouraged to see that the economic indicators are showing an overall improvement in the economy. The unemployment rate is down to around 9.8 percent for the Inland Empire as of October, 2013 according to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics). And, at last glance, the stock market has made some notable advances and continues to be performing well. Housing prices for Beaumont have increased over the past year; as of October 2013, the median price of a home in Beaumont was $267,775 according to Trulia. Beaumont continues to be well protected and safe thanks to the efforts of Chief Coe and his staff, and the Beaumont Unified School District, Academic Performance Index continues to rise as we are sending more high school graduates off to college. While it appears that we are on the right track for 2014, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there are some real uncertainties ahead for small business owners. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, we have the implementation of Covered CA, our State's version of Obamacare. I could comment on this but that would likely take up the entire magazine so, in summary, Covered CA has not been an easy transition for those of us in the insurance industry or for individuals and small businesses seeking health care coverage. Additionally, there are many new State and Federal Tax Regulations being implemented which will likely affect small businesses, and finally, we have the ongoing budget debacle at our White House, all of these things will likely cause businesses to be cautiously optimistic. Your continued support of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce is more important than ever before, remember; we are here to help you succeed not only in 2014 but for years to come. Your concerns are our concerns so please don't hesitate to call on us if we can be of service. BEAUMONT NOW | JANUARY 2014 3

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