Not even two years since its founding, the Littleton Business Chamber is becoming a powerhouse in local commerce and politics, the group’s leaders say. The LBC “collaboratively fights for the …
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Not even two years since its founding, the Littleton Business Chamber is becoming a powerhouse in local commerce and politics, the group’s leaders say.
The LBC “collaboratively fights for the best interests of local businesses,” said co-president Pat Dunahay, who also runs PDA Road Gear, a car audio and accessory business.
Now, with four seats on Littleton’s City Council up for grabs this fall, the group is eager to flex its muscle and open its purse for candidates it deems worthy, Dunahay said.
“Getting the right city council is so important,” Dunahay said.
Founded in September 2017, the LBC boasts a membership of nearly 120 individual and business members.
The individual membership roster on the group's website reads like a Who’s Who of Littleton: Mayor Debbie Brinkman, councilmember Pat Driscoll, former mayor Bruce Beckman, local community fixtures Frank Atwood and Carol Brzeczek, and a slew of business owners.
The business membership roster includes outfits large and small, ranging from Lockheed Martin to McKinner’s Pizza -- and the Littleton Independent.
The LBC has waded into local politics since its founding, with members giving triple-digit campaign donations to Driscoll and councilmembers Karina Elrod and Kyle Schlachter in 2017.
The group also backed a pair of TABOR-override measures in 2017, and funded an advertising campaign for last year’s fire unification effort that saw Littleton Fire Rescue dissolved and folded into South Metro Fire Rescue.
Though no candidates had officially announced runs for city council seats as of an April 18 LBC meeting at Designs by Sundown, Dunahay said the group is excited about potential candidates coming from the Littleton Leadership Academy.
Both Schlachter and Elrod previously attended the academy, a sort of civic affairs boot camp run by former Littleton Mayor Susan Thornton.
“We want educated, right-thinking people to run our city,” Dunahay said.
The City of Littleton is eager to bolster its good relationship with the LBC, said Community Development Director Jennifer Henninger, who spoke at the April 18 meeting.
“Businesses are the backbone of a community,” Henninger said. “They have the pulse of the city.”
The LBC will likely prove an important partner in the city’s efforts to revamp its comprehensive plan and draft its first-ever Transportation Master Plan this year, Henninger said.
The LBC also makes big donations to local charity groups and worthy causes, said co-president Kal Murib, citing donations totaling more than $30,000 to local groups including the Friends of Littleton K-9 and TLC Meals on Wheels.
The group also recognizes local businesses, awarding Reinke Bros. owner Greg Reinke its “Community Leader of the Year” prize in 2018. This year’s prize went to Designs by Sundown owner Mike Hommel.
Reinke, who is also the president of the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants Association, said the LBC fills a hole in business representation in Littleton.
“My group represents merchants, but the LBC represents property owners,” Reinke said. “They’re the ones who can make changes that are more effective.”
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