February 19, 2018
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Chamber Update

Liz League
Liz League's picture
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February 7, 2018

In the mid ‘70s, Bill Gates dreamed of a world where there would be “a computer on every desk and in every home.” His dream didn’t quite happen overnight. In the early stages, computers were often used only as word processors and the internet was as uncharted as “space – the final frontier,” to use a “Star Trek” phrase.

We did, however, begin to enjoy many innovations that would make our lives easier, more efficient and fun. Entering our homes was a steady stream of “toys” such as the PlayStation, touch-tone phones, LED watches, microwaves and many other wonderful things.

Outside of our homes, we saw a rapid acceleration in the use of technology and automation to transport us into a predominantly self-service world. No longer would someone pump our gas and dole out our cash (unless we got out of the car and went inside of the bank). Today, we ring up our own grocery cart, swipe our own credit cards, order food without ever talking to anyone, and shopping is just a click away. No need for interpersonal interaction at all.

I love technology and especially software that makes life efficient. One of my goals for the chamber is to create a digital community where we can actively engage citizens and neighborhoods with our businesses. Social media tools including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great ways to make connections, promote our businesses and our events, and stay relevant as more and more people consume information digitally.

No doubt, we enjoy the many conveniences of technology while living Bill Gates’ dream, but we also have a legitimate fear that we are losing the personal touch.

In a world where we can purchase almost anything through our computers, we are so fortunate to have people who have risked so much to start and run businesses in our town. Our businesses create economic stability in our communities, hire our children, and support our quality of life here in Severna Park and Arnold. They are the ultimate providers of “the personal touch,” resulting in enduring relationships with their customers and face-to-face service that you will not find electronically.

Our “Shop Local” initiative is not just a buzz phrase but a call to action. It may be less expensive initially to purchase products through the internet, but in the long run when our businesses suffer from lost revenue, this hurts us too.

Technology will never replace the richness of face-to-face interaction and personal service. Our job at the chamber is to provide many opportunities for networking, learning (in person), breaking bread together at lunches and dinners, and special events to connect businesses with the community. As demonstrated by the popularity of these events, we as human beings still have an innate desire for personal interaction.

Membership in the chamber and access to our events is open to all – not just business owners. You can get to know your businesses better by attending ribbon cuttings, seminars and the other many programs that we sponsor. Check our website at www.severnaparkchamber.com for more information, like us on Facebook and visit our Facebook events page to see the many activities we have going on! And, of course, remember to shop local, as nothing replaces people-to-people, face-to-face, personal touch!


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