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Victor Valley chamber shifting back to serving entire valley

VICTORVILLE • The Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce is one of the major local organizations that have helped shape the area's development during the past century.

David Greiner was appointed the chairman of the board in July and has served half of his term. He took over the chamber’s leadership when many of its nearly 500 members were still struggling financially from a slow economic recovery in the Victor Valley.

Formerly the Victorville Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in the area recently reverted back to its original name as part of an effort to become the collective voice of the entire Victor Valley, not just Victorville.

“We’re going to go back to being the regional chamber,” Greiner said.

Greiner gave his thoughts on where the chamber is headed as the organization prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday in May.

Q: What is your assessment of the economic recovery in the Victor Valley?

A: Tepid but accelerating.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing businesses in the Victor Valley?

A: The biggest challenge facing the Victor Valley is the undervaluation of homes in the area.

Largely the result of inept practices by home appraisers who are not practicing caution but rather paralysis; buyers and sellers cannot close real estate transactions at agreed upon terms.

This behavior has caused many sellers to not place their homes for sale even if they would have for normal reasons, such as moving or changes in the household. This undervaluation is hurting schools, police and local governments directly through inordinately low property tax revenues, as well as damaging local business owners by making consumers feel less financially stable.

Lastly, the drag of auspiciously low appraisals is artificially halting job creation as new home starts remain anemic, even though the valley is at record low inventory levels and buyers far outnumber sellers in the area.

Q: What is on the top-priority list for the Victor Valley chamber this year?

A: Our largest priority this year is to better align the chamber with its members by returning to our roots of promoting the business growth of the region as a whole.

Our members do not see city lines when building their business, and they demand a chamber that promotes business regardless of which particular city that business takes place.

In this spirit, the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce will focus on regional issues that impact the Victor Valley as a whole in reliance on the assumption that our local businesses benefit from the overall growth of the region. The chamber has met with both the Hesperia and Apple Valley chambers to better collaborate on upcoming initiatives, and we are anxious to partner where combining our different focuses will increase the impact for all of our members.

It’s our top priority that through collaboration, the chamber will make the valley as a whole stronger from a business perspective.

Q: If you could change one thing about the High Desert, what would it be?

A: I would change our deep-rooted tendency of isolationism and our general distrust of collaboration regionally. At times, this region seems to trip over issues that collaborative efforts should be able to rectify theoretically.

Note: Greiner answered the questions by email.

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.

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