Chamber News

Lazy days of summer? Not so much!
From the Chamber Chair ...
Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014
By: Bob Gilbert, Bartlett and West - 2014 Chamber Chair

It’s that time of year again – we are all concluding our summer vacations, going back to school, and in general, just getting back in the groove again. For some, this may be a time of anxiety and disappointment (those still in school can relate I’m sure), but for others like me, it is a time to look forward to getting back into a rhythm of activity and productivity. I’m feeling refreshed from a great summer of time with family, being outside enjoying God’s creation, and eating some great produce from our own garden.

While our Chamber team of professionals have also enjoyed some time off with their families this summer, we have had a very busy summer so far, and we hope that trend will continue. I want to take this space to tell you about some of the business attraction and other activity that has been taking place. When I speak of business attraction projects, I am referring to companies who are looking to locate new jobs and investment somewhere in our region. This summer we have been actively working two new projects that have resulted in site visits here in Jefferson City with the two different companies who are interested in our area. Of course, having them interested in our area is only one ingredient to their decision to choose a location for their business, but we have been working very hard providing high quality information to the companies in an attempt to bring them to our community. Each company has their own criteria for selecting a community, and that list of desirable attributes is quite extensive. We continue to provide them with information to answer their questions and try to offer them options that meet their needs. Will either of the two companies locate to our community? We don’t know yet, but it is encouraging to see the interest and activity level increase. We are also hearing encouraging things from the Missouri Partnership, a statewide attraction program implemented through the Missouri Department of Economic Development, who brings us leads for companies like these. We are hopeful that as the economy continues to recover and manufacturing starts to make a comeback that we will continue to be able to market our community benefits to more interested companies.

You may have also been reading about the Chamber’s facilitation of a potential partnership with the Special Olympics Missouri and the Jefferson City Parks & Recreation Commission. In an effort to keep the Special Olympics Headquarters located here and the potential of their new Training for Life Campus Project in Jefferson City and look at the mutual benefits of a recreational multi-purpose space for both entities, we have been facilitating the possibilities for a combined project. It makes sense to explore this opportunity and bring the potential partners together. Will the project move forward? I don’t know, but the question makes me think of a saying I have heard on the golf course frequently – “100% of the short putts don’t go in.” It’s important to explore this opportunity and see if we can bring the partners together to create a “groove” to sink the putt!

When I think about the activities the Chamber has been working on this summer, it makes me realize that my company’s investment in membership is well worth it. For some, membership is about the networking, for others it is about the opportunities for exposure, and still others it is about investing in a community as a whole. My Chamber membership is about all of these areas, but even if it was only this last item of improving our community, it would be a great return on my investment!

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