Economic Development News

Ideas are coming in - undergoing review
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 6:00 am
By: Missy Bonnot months ago we rolled out a mechanism in which the community would have a way to voice and submit community and economic development ideas for the Jefferson City area.  We created a place on our website entitled Have an idea? along with a submission form and information on how this initiative was started.   

To date we have received twelve ideas ranging from creating an open air pavilion that can be used for farmer’s market, craft or art shows or entertainment to creating additional parking by adding a parking garage to the downtown area. 

Some ideas submitted are very low in cost such as to communicate with businesses when big events are occurring that bring in large number of visitors to our community whereas the Love the River idea to develop a river view/walking area between MSP and Federal Courthouse with an outdoor amphitheater could be more costly.

So what happens after an idea has been submitted?  The Chamber has a team in place called the Big Idea Sharing (BIS) team. This group is made up of eight Chamber Board members and chaired by Janet Weckenborg, Capital  Region Medical Center and Gregg Bexten, Hawthorn Bank.  This team has been meeting regularly to review the ideas that have been submitted to date.  Once an idea is submitted, it can go to one of two places.  

If an idea matches the Chamber’s mission the team will recommend it move on to the Vetting process. The Vetting team will more intensely review the idea in order to provide information to the Economic Development (ED) team for final assessment of the idea.  The Vetting Team members are assigned by the Chairman of the Board.

The ED team, which consists of the mayor and the presiding commissioner as well as the chair, chair elect and immediate past chair and an at large member of the board, would review those ideas that have been investigated and determine those that should be presented to the Chamber Board as recommendations for pursuit. 

If the idea does not match the Chamber mission, the idea can be referred to a different entity such as Parks and Recreation, Home Builders Association, or any other appropriate entity.  

Of the twelve ideas that have been submitted, five are in the process of being referred to another entity and seven  are now in the vetting stage.

If the person (or persons) who submitted the idea want to be involved in this process, they may; however, participation is not required for an idea to move forward.

Submitted Ideas

Idea #1

Community Ambassadors - Utilize Chamber Ambassadors for community interaction activities.  Station at Capitol and other tourist locations to assist with directions, take family photos, pass out directories, maps.  This would serve as a great ombudsman tool for Jefferson City.

Idea #2
Open Air Pavilion - Create open air pavilions that can be multi-use for farmer’s markets, craft or art shows, bands or other entertainment. Possibilities for use are endless.

Idea #3
Entertainment District - Create a development of entertainment venues in the Old Town area where The Mission and Prison Brews exist.  Improvements to the area could include new street lighting, sidewalks and additional parking lots.

Idea #4
Downtown Parking Garage - Create additional parking by adding a parking garage to the downtown area.  A parking garage would allow more parking for visitors as well as for the people that work in the area.

Idea #5
Businesses Promoting the Community - Communicate with businesses when big events are occurring that bring a large number of visitors to our community.   Communication such as  email, social media, etc. for large events like the state cross country meet, the state track and field meet could be better communicated/promoted to all businesses in Jefferson City.  Encourage these businesses to welcome visitors to our community!

Idea #6
Love the River - Develop a river view/walking area between MSP and the Federal Courthouse. Start with a simple construction of an outdoor amphitheater similar to the one at Riverside Park-to be used for sitting, viewing, walking and is readily accessible day to day. It could morph into a venue for music, theater, nature, presentations etc. and eventually into a lovely river walk/greenway.

Idea #7
Develop Riverfront - Buy land & raise sites above flood plain either east or west of 54 across from the river.  Establish river walk, restaurants, sports bar, rv center, hotel, shops and park.

Idea #8 
Senior Village at Mall - Turn the Capital Mall into a senior village including condo/apartment complex.

Idea #9
America in Bloom - Would like to see Jefferson City participate in the "America in Bloom" program.

Idea #10
Big Brother/Big Sister Business Program - Build a program for newcomers to the Jefferson City business scene.  Each newcomer will be assigned an ambassador or big brother/sister to introduce them to business owners in the community.

Idea #11
Build Smaller Homes - Build small slab home sub-division for people that are needing/wanting to downsize but don't want to live in a condo.

Idea #12
Riverfront Development (Northside) - Develop riverfront for riverboat and barge trips with historic narrative.

We will be reporting on our website and in Chamber Today on a regular basis the progress we have made on the ideas listed above.  

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