By Jim Swanson
Special to Independent Newsmedia
We all agree we are fortunate we live in a very unique and special community.
But Sun City West is different, not only because of everything it offers to support and enhance the senior lifestyle. It is also different for a couple of other reasons. Our senior community truly represents a unique market for commerce. We are also unique because we are not an incorporated municipality.
Most of us come from areas where we have had that structure of a local city government. One benefit of this to residents is that we do not have that additional cost of operating and sustaining an administrative layer of local government.
As it relates to local commerce, a couple key functions of a city’s municipal government are to oversee and coordinate a community’s business interests, support their needs, assist to preserve local businesses and to act as an advocate for future business growth. Our SCW framers and founders had no way of anticipating how commerce would change in the 21st century. Nor did they anticipate the phenomenal growth of the West Valley.
Therefore, they did not put into place an organization that would address these needs and interests for our local merchants, service providers and various nonprofits. With our changing world, and particularly our changing West Valley, we recognize that for our community to remain vibrant and attractive, we need our local businesses to also remain healthy. Residents rely on them to provide the services and convenience we have grown accustomed to.
Boarded-up shop windows do not help property values. At present, local businesses only have county services to rely upon, and in the last few years, we have seen how the county’s planning and economic development departments have not done much to involve and consider the concerns of our community’s existing commerce in some of the outcomes that have affected our community. We have no unified voice whose purpose is to represent the interests of our local commerce sector.
These are some of the reasons why the Alliance of Business and Community (ABCs) is right for SCW.
As a local 501(c)(6) league of businesses, service providers and nonprofits, the purpose of the ABCs is to encourage doing business locally, to strengthen the connections between the residents of SCW and our member organizations, to function as a central liaison for the wide array of our member businesses and organizations and to function as a voice for our members, and to help promote and safeguard the unique lifestyle that exists here.
ABCs membership is open to all businesses and service organizations that serve the SCW market as a primary focus. We also welcome civic-minded residents under a special “Friends of the ABCs” membership class. General membership meetings are conducted the second Wednesday morning each month at Briarwood Country Club, 20800 N. 135th Ave. Guests and visitors are always welcome.
In addition to our monthly business meetings we schedule quarterly afternoon mixers that are great for informal networking. Visit www.scwabc.org.
In addition to strengthening the communication between member businesses through networking and educational opportunities, one other great part of the ABC organization is our commitment to give back to our community. Just as resident involvement and volunteerism is vital to sustain SCW, since its inception, the member organizations of our ABCs have made a point of giving back to our community. Our members are committed to doing so to show how they appreciate the way our residents support and sustain local businesses.
We know it’s a two-way street — our local residents want and need to rely on having a healthy array of local businesses, and our member-businesses know their existence depends on remaining viable sources of goods and services for our residents. As just one expression of our appreciation, in our brief existence thousands of dollars have been raised by the ABCs and given back to benefit various charities and nonprofits serving SCW.
The ABCs is extremely proud to again sponsor the 3rd Annual “Great American Ball Drop.” This fun-filled event is hosted and organized by the SCW Pickleball Club, and it is just part of their “Day of Charity” festivities Saturday, Jan. 21 at Palm Ridge Recreation Center, 13800 W. Deer Valley Drive. Following the ball drop, the many afternoon activities are sponsored by the Sundome Merchants Association.
By working together, our goal is to raise more than $15,000 in just this one day to benefit the SCW PRIDES and the SCW Foundation’s Helping Hands operation — two great and worthy local organizations.
Come out and participate, meet and greet representatives of the many local business who value, love and appreciate this community just as much as you do.
Remember, help support our local ABCs — we are working for and with you!