It is a wonderful thing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to be a good neighbor.

By Andrea H. Reay CEO/President Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce It is a wonderful thing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to be a good neighbor. National Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601: “As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world.” How can we show understanding, love and respect in our daily lives, through our business interactions? Here are a few ways we hear at the Chamber try to embody that philosophy of being a good neighbor.
  1. Everyone is Welcome. It’s not just a saying on your doormat, it has to mean so much more. When we create a welcoming culture, we are ensuring that no matter where you are in your professional and personal journey, there is a place for you, and that place is here with us.
  2. Community Matters. Community is built on engagement and interaction. Sure, some of that can happen online. But, it’s also important to poke your head up over the fence, or out from behind your computer, and spend time together. That’s why we host at least 3 events every month. We know that when we meet and greet each other in person, we’re building relationships which in turn build community.
  3. Stronger Together. As a membership-based organization we know that there is tremendous strength in numbers. Our success happens as we help others write their great success stories. The basis of the block watch program was founded on this basic principle. By being active and watching out for each other’s interests we create safer neighborhoods. In a lot of ways, we are the “block watch” for local business, always keeping an eye out for issues that may negatively impact local business.
Being a good neighbor helps build healthy communities and vibrant economies. The Chamber is looking forward to celebrating all our amazing members and the communities that we serve on National Good Neighbor Day, September 28th. I invite you to share with us on Facebook who you’ve seen be a good neighbor. And, make sure to join us on September 28th, as we’ll be thanking members of our community for being such great neighbors!
Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce – “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988. For more information on the Chamber, including member benefits and resources, please visit

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