KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 8/28, 7:30 AM & KTTU "In Focus," Sunday, 9/4, 10:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Mike Varney, CEO, Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. Varney was named to the post, replacing Jack Camper, who retired after 32 years as Chamber CEO.  

Varney says when he was looking at Tucson prior to his interview with the search committee, he identified some of the area’s challenges and presented some proposals to respond to them to Chamber board members.  He says he wants to reach out and reengage the community and the small businesses, which he said are at the heart of Tucson’s economy.  He says he is implementing a “small business growth committee” with strategies to help small businesses make money, save money, run a smarter enterprise and improve their networking capacity. He says the Chamber will also be offering member “benefits” that do NOT require small businesses owners to always take time away from their work, a frequent complaint.

Varney says the Chamber has the resources to respond to complaints from small businesses about the lack of support from City of Tucson officials.  He says the Chamber will be pushing a pro-business agenda.  He says the mantra will be “if it’s good for business it’s good for the community.”  He says a successful business community creates jobs and builds up the tax base.  

Varney says in terms of governmental relations, the Chamber will be proactive and get in front of issues and develop new relationships with City Council members and with the Board of Supervisors.