Why Chambers Are Economic Developers
Chambers were established by businesses. They were intended to unite professionals and help them accomplish important initiatives together that they could not do individually. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is a business driven organization and continues to pursue, construct, and activate solutions for an optimal economic environment.
Economic Development - The process by which the economic well-being and quality of life of a nation, region, or local community are improved.
THE OLD MODEL:
Incentives were used frequently to encourage businesses to move to new communities. In recent studies, businesses that relocated would have done this with or without the incentives; but, they enjoyed the sweetened deals of the fiscal incentives under this old-method in business recruitment. These models lacked claw backs and make investments a higher risk for respective communities. This was shared by Matt Wagner, National Main Street, during the Wyoming Working Together Conference.
THE RIGHT MODEL:
MARKET KNOWLEDGE - Understanding markets, how to meet demands, and differentiating communities. The Chambers are comprised of businesses, they employ community members, and their customers are diverse. Having a direct link to these markets is vital to economic advancement and the Chamber is the centralized hub.
ASSET LEVERAGE - Leveraging assets and anchors in communities is essential and the Chamber is exceptionally strong in this arena. Focusing on vital projects - from starting Cheyenne Frontier Days, to building Frontier Mall, to expanding military missions at FE Warren, to designing small business startups - the Chamber knows how to leverage these assets for further development and the establishment of opportunities.
PEOPLE - Driven by the people of the greater Cheyenne area, the Chamber is always working to invest, attract, retain, and expand opportunities for people. We know what it takes for communities to be competitive in a global market and leverage their most valuable asset, the People. We work to build capacity with strengthing educational institutions. We are using Talent Pipeline Management for workforce alignment and are strategicially investing in programs and efforts to optimize advancement. All are critical in economic development for long-standing solutions.
PLACE - Being “a great place to work, play, and do business” is a mantra of a Chamber. We recognize it is more cost effective to retain those who are already living in the community than try to continuously recruit new people. While both are important, we have to support our existing businesses, we need to establish economic density, and we have to outfit both businesses and government for success.
Technology infrastructure has become a huge value-add to our community and the Chamber recently completed the project to provide FREE WiFi in Cheyenne’s Depot Plaza. There are natural assets to celebrate and improve, like Crow Creek and the Greenway, and both have been priorities and objects of the Chamber. Accessing new places and new assets is also a priority and is being achieved through transportation projects like Front Range Rail. All of these projects are economic development and are Chamber driven, or in other words “Business Driven.”
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is an economic developer because a prosperous economy is our mission. Our businesses are visionaries and we go get work done!
Thank you to all of our stakeholders and investors. It is because of you, we are successful and we can wake up each morning in a “Better Cheyenne.”