San Francisco Chamber of Commerce enters a new day 

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  • Camila Bernal/S.F. Examiner file photo
  • Tech company Square moved into the mid-Market Street area this year, one of many new companies in the neighborhood.
Our world is constantly changing. New ideas open our eyes to new possibilities. Innovation spurs new products, habits and solutions. New experiences shape our sense of self, place and purpose.

San Francisco’s business community is changing along with the world. Once dominated by finance and professional services, our city’s economy has become much more diverse, embracing emerging industries such as biotech, clean tech, digital media and other professions.

Headquarters of companies are no longer centered in San Francisco, but spread across the region. And the workforce continues to become more skilled, with 50 percent of residents attaining either a bachelor’s or graduate degree.

The Chamber of Commerce is a reflection of our city’s business community, and we are changing, too. Long gone are the days when business and civic discussions were made over a three-martini lunch at a downtown watering hole. Also gone are the days of “one-size-fits-all” membership. Every business is different, and our chamber serves each member differently based on his or her unique business goals.

Today, our chamber is focused on connecting The City’s business community. There are many excellent industry and professional groups in our city, but the chamber is where all these groups come together — to network, to cross-pollinate and to build community. By convening our city’s diverse business interests, we are uniquely able to tackle big and often-divisive issues, such as business-tax reform and formula retail regulations.

We are also focused on innovative partnerships to drive growth and create a vibrant economy. The chamber’s award-winning public-private partnership ChinaSF has brought more than 26 Chinese companies — and 300 jobs — to our city since it began in 2008.

Earlier this summer, we launched BuildSF, a new initiative to support economy-boosting development in San Francisco. And we continue to explore international opportunities in other emerging regions such as South America, Mexico, India and others.

This week, the chamber unveiled a new logo and brand identity to better reflect San Francisco’s unique business community and the culture of our organization. Designed by celebrated San Francisco designer Primo Angeli with Stapley-Hildebrand, our new mark symbolizes the diversity, connectivity, and the collective strength of our members and our city’s robust economy. We hope businesses see themselves in our mark and that it evokes the pride we feel every day supporting San Francisco’s prosperity.

It is a new day at the chamber. Our organization is more than 160 years old, but like The City and its business community, we continue to evolve. We invite you learn more and join us as we work together to create a better San Francisco. #NewSFChamber.

Bob Linscheid is the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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