Your Chamber Team is Growing: New Faces, New Resources, Now Headed Your Way
Serving our business community and providing relevant solutions to common business issues is nothing new for the Garland Chamber. In fact, we’ve been in town helping local businesses succeed for more than 120 years. As proud as we are of tradition, we also pride ourselves in the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate along with the ever-changing business environment.
The landscape of business in Garland, Texas looks much different than it did when our founders established the Garland Commercial Club in a time of agriculture and onion crops. Today, we work with advanced technological industries, a highly diverse workforce and a considerably greater volume of businesses, each with unique needs. So, as we’ve done before, in 2014 the Garland Chamber performed extensive research and compiled a thorough strategic plan that will facilitate economic growth in Garland, Texas over the next five years.
Among the various forms of feedback acquired, four primary focus areas were emphasized as priorities:
- Workforce Development
- Small Business Assistance
- Business Retention
These focus areas align flawlessly with the Chamber’s responsibilities within the Garland Economic Development Partnership, and establish a solid foundation for the Chamber to support the growth and success of existing businesses in the Garland community. We’ve already executed a full year of the plan, and accomplished everything we set out to do in year one. However, in order to fully pursue the objectives for each of the determined priorities in the years ahead, we decided to bring a few extra hands on deck.
In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see some new faces out in the community, and before you shake their hands for the first time, we’d like to let you know why they’re here.
Let’s first introduce you to Amy Jo Wallace, our Business Retention Assistant. She’s come on board to help us out temporarily with the much-anticipated Garland Manufacturers List. For years, databases have estimated the number of manufacturers in Garland, and we’ve worked hard to connect with many of them, but we’ve never had a fully accurate list of our manufacturing base, and Amy Jo is working to change that. The more businesses we know about, the more we can serve, and we’d really like to offer our suite of manufacturing resources to any business that could benefit from them.
Once our target is accurately defined, we can begin to work on a few other projects that fall in line with the following strategies related to business retention.
Awareness Strategy: Disseminate targeted communication regarding relevant resources and illustrating support of business priorities.
Access and Growth Strategy: Increase connectivity among local suppliers and service providers to facilitate network growth and process efficiency.
Regulatory Environment Strategy: Leverage Garland’s historical success in supporting the manufacturing industry to remain competitive on critical location decision factors.
In just shy of a week, Christian Ostergaard will join the Chamber staff as our Small Business Specialist. With around 9,000 small businesses in our city’s borders, Christian will be able to hit the ground running, exposing business owners to Small Business Development Center counseling services, community resources, educational workshops and other tools that will allow the Chamber, as part of the Garland Economic Development Partnership, to offer support to their success.
Our team will begin to pursue specific programming and potentially develop new resources that fall in line with the following strategies.
Awareness Strategy: Execute a series of marketing campaigns that demonstrate the full scope of local resources available to small businesses.
Early Assistance and Planning Strategy: Utilize small business entry points to access new owners and provide resources in early stages to engage them on a long-term pathway for sustainability.
Manufacturing Interaction Strategy: Educate small business owners about the criteria and process required in order to work with larger companies and connect them with prospects.
Specialized Programming Strategy: Considering the diverse needs of small business owners, create program variances that allow for increased participation in available services.
We’re excited to be adding to our team, and even more excited to be rolling out new resources for our business community. You can be assured that as the Chamber works to efficiently and effectively connect the Garland business community with the necessary components of sustainable success, we’ll always remain true to our vision, “The greater Garland community will enjoy a sustainable high quality of life with a vibrant and varied business environment.”
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