1. Isn’t the Restructure Already Done?
No, the BMDA / Chamber Restructure is not yet complete. Both organizations continue to operate separately while working towards a restructure that would be take effect January 1, 2019.
2. What Will the Restructured Organization be Called?
The restructured organization will be known as the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber EDC.
3. Where Will the Organization’s Office Be?
In the existing Chamber building at 1640 Burnt Boat Drive.
4. Will Anyone Be ‘Laid Off’ as a Result of the Restructure?
No. The only Staff change expected as a result of the Restructure is for the position of BMDA Office Manager, currently held by a temporary employee, to be redirected or reassigned elsewhere in the organization.
5. What Will Happen to My Dues?
Members of the BMDA & Chamber will continue to pay separate dues for the rest of 2018. Effective January 1, 2019, a new dues schedule will come into effect that has been designed to allow our members to keep their dues at a level consistent with what they’ve paid previously or invest more if they so choose.
6. I Just Paid My BMDA and/or Chamber Membership Dues. Will I Have to Pay Right Away to Join the New Organization?
No. Current Chamber Members will keep paying their dues the same month they always have while current BMDA Investors will continue to pay their dues the same month they always have. For those who are members of both organizations, we expect to invoice them in the later of the two renewal months.
7. Why Would I Choose to Continue to be a Member or Even Invest More?
The value proposition for a restructured organization is multi-faceted and can be found below. As you will see, no programming currently offered by either the BMDA or Chamber will be eliminated and we expect to enhance certain areas of programing.
- More Efficient Utilization of Existing Resources: A restructure of the BMDA and Chamber will allow us to leverage existing resources to accomplish even more for the community as a unified business development organization working for Bismarck-Mandan and the surrounding area.
- Simplified Governance & Dues Structure: Currently, more than 200 area businesses are members of both the BMDA and Chamber. As a result of being members of both, they pay two invoices at two different times that go to two different locations. A single, restructured organization offers the ability for all businesses to support economic development, advocacy and more with one investment.
- A Strengthened Business Community Voice: Between the BMDA and Chamber’s 2017 – 2019 Strategic Plans, at least five areas of overlap exist that present opportunities for a restructured organization to better serve the community. They include: infrastructure planning, transportation planning & permitting, workforce development, entrepreneurship, local advocacy, community engagement. A restructured organization offers the potential for a larger, stronger business community voice on these issues and more.
- Increased Focus on Workforce Development: The BMDA has been responsible for the implantation of workforce development programs while the Chamber recently introduced a new event; the Workforce Summit. By shifting duties within a restructured organization, we can dedicate a staff person to both workforce development and talent attraction who in turn could utilize a larger membership base to expand the reach of those efforts.
- Supporting our Community’s Entrepreneurs: A small group of entrepreneurs and resource providers indicated earlier this year that the two most pressing issues facing entrepreneurs in Bismarck-Mandan are an unorganized resource network and a general lack of support in the community. A larger organization could both aid in organizing a continuum of entrepreneurial resources and develop community-wide support for entrepreneurs in Bismarck-Mandan.
- Expanded Business Retention & Expansion Efforts: The BMDA has facilitated a formal BRE Program since 2004 while the Chamber represents approximately 1,300 businesses, many of them small businesses. By combining resources, it’s possible to dedicate additional staff time and resources to expand the reach of the BRE Program while incorporating more small businesses to ensure that their voice is being heard.
- Enhancements to Business & Talent Attraction: The BMDA has traditionally led the community’s efforts in both business and talent attraction. Combining resources may allow for increased staff focus on business attraction efforts and a dedicated staff person to talent attraction and workforce development. In addition, both areas of focus may benefit from the increased visibility & reach of a larger, combined membership base.
- Continued Rural Engagement: Economic development in the rural areas of Burleigh and Morton Counties have long been a focus of the BMDA and those efforts will remain in place. Those contacts could also be used to enhance the Chamber’s advocacy efforts in areas such as tax reform, agriculture policy, etc. and vice versa.
- Excellence in Programming, Events and More: And those events and programs that the Chamber has come to be known for like the Economic Outlook Forum, Leadership Bismarck-Mandan and more will still exist. Only now, there will be a direct tie to economic development which directly impact those events and more.
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