The Hesperia Chamber of Commerce is healthy and busy, according to its chairman.


Chairman of the Board Matthew Hawkins made the comments during the annual State of the Chamber address given at the group's most recent monthly luncheon at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel.


Purchasing the chamber's new burgundy-colored office building near the corner of Main Street capped off a year of achievement, according to Hawkins.


"It was an opportunity for us to move forward," he said.


A redesigned website has generated more than 1.2 million referrals, or visitors clicking on a member business link, logo or banner ad. That's a 63 percent jump over the year before.


The chamber hosted a total of 113 events in the last year attended by 4,500 people, including:


Two job fairs, attended by more than 1,500 job seekers.


12 workshops and seminars on specific ways for business owners to improve their businesses.


17 grand openings and ribbon-cuttings for new and relocated businesses.


The chamber also provided $1,250 in scholarships to area graduating seniors.


"We feel that we have exceeded where we were last year economically, and we're going to be that 'glass half-full' community," Hawkins said.


In the coming year, the chamber will be producing a Hesperia map promoting chamber members, hosting a leadership seminar in partnership with the High Desert Resource Network and begin a program promoting chamber members through price savings and other customer incentives.


"The chamber's strong. The chamber's moving forward," Hawkins said. "Don't hesitate to use the chamber, that's why it's there."


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.