The answer is, positively.
Since 2004, the BMDA has facilitated a formal Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Program dedicated to pro-actively identifying issues, barriers, etc. affecting our existing businesses through a series of one-on-one visits. That information is then used to assist individual businesses and/or shape our BRE efforts going forward. Along those same lines, each year the Chamber conducts a survey of its members to identify issues, barriers, etc. they foresee in the coming year as part of the Economic Outlook Forum. By restructuring, we have the ability to continue visits with individual businesses via the BRE Program while leveraging the expanded reach of the Economic Outlook Forum’s survey to gather even more information regarding the issues impacting our businesses that we can use to tailor initiatives, programming and more.
What’s more is that we can further leverage that expanded reach to amplify our business attraction efforts. Currently, the primary targets of our business attraction efforts are value-added energy, value-added agriculture and equipment manufacturing. However, there is limited staff time and resources to market in those areas. By utilizing a greater social media presence, publications like the Chamber Connection and other means, we hope our volunteers and members will help our staff spread the message that this is the ideal location for businesses in these industries. In addition, it is possible to reallocate existing resources gained through efficiency to a part or full-time staff person with economic development marketing responsibilities.
Since the affirmative vote from both the BMDA and Chamber membership and approval from the Attorney General’s Office, articles of merger have been filed with the Secretary of State with the intention of the merger becoming official on January 1, 2019. At that point, the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC will begin operations. Until then however, both the BMDA and Chamber will operate ‘as is’ for the balance of 2018.
If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to get ahold of me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 222-5530.
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