Who We Are And What We Do For You
Learn why you should join the Mora Valley Chamber of Commerce today
The Mora Valley Chamber of Commerce has about 60 business members and a dozen individual members. The Mora Valley Chamber is not exactly like other Chambers. We are a combination of local business development advocates, local “boosters”, and a community service organization. Being the only business oriented group in Mora County, we are usually the point of contact on economic development activities. We take the lead in advertising Mora activities in hopes that some of the thousands of “drive through” tourists will stop for a few minutes and patronize local businesses. Some of our most significant activities are:
Business Directory: Since 2009, La Jicarita Telephone Cooperative and the Chamber jointly distributed the Mora County telephone book and business directory listing businesses in Mora or those doing business in Mora. The directory, particularly the business section, is a very useful reference for Mora residents who support local Mora businesses. Some of the cost of the initial Directory was covered by a grant from the Department of Economic Development but now it is a self-sustaining project.
Bulk Mailing Permit: The Chamber has a bulk mailing permit which is available to any member for direct mailing advertising. The permit can save over 20 cents per item.
Clean-Up Mora County Day: For the past four years, the Chamber has organized the “Clean-Up Mora County Day” with a focus on picking up highway litter. With the help of over 100 volunteers, many who were part of the “Adopt a Highway” program, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and several local businesses who donated funds to help with a lunch for the workers, we clean up over 20 miles of roads and pick up nearly ten tons of trash each year. We will have our fifth clean-up day this in late April.
“Boosting” Local Pride/Local Events: The Chamber does a variety of things to boost pride in Mora and awareness of local events. Several years ago we bought 48 banners for hanging on the downtown Mora streetlight poles and later we bought additional event banners to advertise Fiestas, Mill Fest, and Winter Fest. We also help local groups advertise their events. Each year we buy an anchor ad that allows us to have a Mora section in the Taos, Angel Fire, and Las Vegas newspaper summer visitor’s guides which feature Mora summer events such as Fiestas, Mill Fest, and Wagon Mound’s Bean Day.
This regional advertising also helps develop awareness of local business. In addition to the visitor guides advertising, our Mora Valley brochure, which is distributed throughout north-east New Mexico, features Fort Union, Victory Ranch, Salman Ranch, our two State parks, and other attractions that might entice tourists to spend some time, and hopefully some money, here in Mora.
Community Support: The Chamber does a variety of things in support of the Mora Community. Each year we put on Winter Fest the first weekend in December. It is a combination of a winter festival featuring events for children of Mora and an arts and craft fair for local artists. We contribute to and solicit outside donations to meals for needy families. Being a non-profit organization, we can accept funds for local projects that otherwise couldn’t get those funds. For instance, over the past several years, we accepted a small grant on behalf of the Ojo Feliz community for a community park and several donations of picnic tables from the Coyote State Park and in turn gave them to the Holman and Ojo Feliz community parks. Small things perhaps, but we have the “standing” and the willingness to make such things happen. In 2012, the Chamber was instrumental in getting a Youth Conservation Corps project for Mora, the restoration of the Cleveland Community Park, and we are contributing to the 2013 project, creation of a park at the Senior Citizens Center. The Chamber has also taken the lead in a “Keep New Mexico Beautiful” project at the intersection of Highways 434 and 518.
Economic Development: We also continue to support economic development in Mora County. Note however, our concept of economic development is very much tailored to what works for Mora. Our tourism oriented advertising is focused on the thousands of “drive through” tourists each year. Mora may never be a tourist destination in the sense that Taos, Angel Fire, or Red River are, but Mora does have potential as a day-trip destination, and a visit to Salman Ranch, for instance, could also mean lunch at the Kristy’s Korner Kafe, Hatcha’s Express, or Rene’s 50’s Diner, or a purchase of Grandma Jones Choke Cherry Jelly.
When we think of other aspects of business development, the focus is on the services Mora needs. While a factory employing 40 or 50 people would be economic development, the realistic and more beneficial development would be more stores and services in Mora. The Mora Valley Ranch Supply Store which opened in 2009 is a good example, but there are many other services which small stores could provide here, rather than in Las Vegas or Taos. As best we can, that is the type of economic development we support.
Join the Chamber: The Mora Valley Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to serving the citizens Mora County. We are relatively small as Chambers go but our membership has steadily grown over the past several years. However, there is strength in numbers and that strength helps us be more effective in everything we do. I hope you agree with us that the activities described above are worthwhile, both to you as a Mora business person and as a Mora resident, and that they deserve your support. If so, we urge you to join the Chamber in 2013.