New chamber chief: Crane works to revive San Benito businesses

SAN BENITO — Toni Crane wants to let you know San Benito is open for business.

For years, she’s worked hard to revive the city’s chamber after it fell dormant in 2013.

That’s when she worked to help jump-start the agency, serving as its secretary.

Last year, Crane was named vice president.

After Lionel Betancourt resigned as president in March, the chamber’s board of directors named her president.

“I was very happy to receive the confidence of the chamber,” Crane said Friday.

Crane said she wants to work to help the city shine as bright as her childhood memories.

“We want San Benito to be the San Benito it used to be,” she said.

“I love San Benito. I love the people here. I grew up in San Benito and lived here most of my life. We had so many stores and theaters. It was so much fun.”

Crane, who works with her husband Randall Crane’s law firm, said she wants to work to help the city’s businesses thrive.

“I have a very good executive board that wants to work with businesses,” she said. “We want people to live here, shop here and open businesses here.”

Now, the chamber is planning workshops to help businesses here, she said.

Crane said the Small Business Administration will help local entrepreneurs open businesses here.

The chamber also plans to host events to help spark the city’s spirit, she said.

On July 22, the chamber plans to hold its first Resaca City Casino Night to help the San Benito Food Pantry.

“We want to get people involved and interested, shopping and getting to know San Benito,” she said. “We welcome any ideas.”

The chamber wants the city’s Market Days to help lure customers to the downtown area.

“We want to build on that,” she said. “We want to bring in food vendors and live music.”

Since last year, the chamber launched its Wednesday morning coffee event, where featured area leaders are helping to build community involvement.

“It’s going great,” she said. “We keep getting more and more people coming.”