Last month I discussed Business Advocacy, this month I’ll talk about Economic Development. Economic Development is the process that influences growth of an economy and enhances the economic well-being of a community. This is very similar to the Chamber’s overall mission. This involves everything from quality of life to infrastructure, workforce, utilities, government, education and the business climate.
Brain Harr, Western Reserve Bank, is the Vice Chair on the Board for this division. Many of you are well acquainted with the Medina County Economic Development Corporation and know that the City of Medina has an Economic Development Director. So, what exactly is it the Chamber does? For the most part, the Chamber is a partner in programs and efforts to retain and attract business. We focus on transportation, zoning concerns, local government regulations, quality of life, and the business climate.
The Board set several goals for our ED Division at retreat this year. Educate, communicate and advocate school funding issues to members and the community; take a leading role in community planning efforts promote existing and future development efforts; and, retain current local businesses.
In many cases, representatives sit on committees, attend workshops and planning sessions. We have collaborated on workforce programs, small business development, entrepreneurship programs and helped individual businesses find the resources and networks they need. This is about our businesses and what tools they need to sustain grow and expand their business. This is about jobs and business success.
Most of our work in Economic Development is in cooperation or collaboration with other organizations or agencies. For example, the Chamber hosted a meeting for the industrial area at and near Smith and Lake Roads to learn about the transportation improvements that will take place over the next three years. We brought the key people together to give the City Engineer an opportunity to meet with the group and explain the project.
We have helped local businesses with City and County agencies when they felt they weren’t getting the answers they needed. Typically, this means alerting the right individual at City Hall, in most cases the City Economic Development Director, who can assist. We have participated in strategic and economic development planning with the City and most recently with the county on a review of the permitting process for businesses.
We have sponsored the Small Business Development Council through the Summit Medina Business Council for business consulting and are working with the City of Medina on an Entrepreneurship Training Series.
In other words, we collaborate with government and other agencies to assist and provide resources to our local businesses to help them succeed and make a profit.
If there is any way we can assist you or your business, please call or email us and we will do anything we can to help or connect you to the resources you need.
Next month I will focus on our Membership Services Division.