The Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce has realized significant membership growth over the past several years. This was achieved during a somewhat challenging business environment; one where time and resources are in precious supply.
In an effort to enhance its leadership role in our greater community and to protect the successes of the Chamber, the Chamber Board of Directors has developed a Strategic Plan (“Plan”) with the intent it will serve as a roadmap for its future operations. The goals and objectives of the plan are intended to ensure that the Chamber remains relevant; the unmistakable voice of the business community.
While it captures the “big picture” thinking of our members, it is not intended as a stand-alone document. It is designed to work in conjunction with the Chamber’s annual financial plan and active budget. Furthermore, the plan is an adaptive, non-static document subject to amendment with new and/or additional input. The plan will be implemented in phases over a three year period and will enable the Chamber to be better able to serve and meet its members’ specific needs and ensure that their interests are represented. For the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce to be considered successful in the years ahead, the expected outcomes related to our specific goals detailed in this plan will need to be accomplished. In consideration of this, the following are the key areas and strategies the Chamber will employ: Advocacy, Networking & Education, and, Membership.
It should be noted that the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce aligns itself closely with that of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Their mandate and ongoing leadership provides focus and clarity to the present Plan.
Advocacy: “Be Heard”
Fostering a culture of innovation and productivity:
Through the persistent leadership of the Chamber, our region can emerge as a productivity leader – one that will attract the necessary elements to thrive and prosper. The Chamber will promote and advance a business friendly atmosphere that is conducive to attracting, retaining and expanding business.
Driving the sustainability of a 21st century workforce:
To recognize the vision of attracting new business and industry to the region, the Chamber needs to take a leading role in identifying and promoting the skills and training necessary to succeed in the 21st century.
Deliver a strategic communication plan:
Strong public relations and effective communication is essential for a positive community profile. The Chamber will continue to provide and support community and regional activities and ensure that the membership and community is informed on these efforts. The Chamber will cultivate and communicate the vision and mission of the Chamber to promote and enhance the visibility of members and our communities. Ensure all Members are informed of current programs and offerings and that the regional community is aware of Chamber activities. Expand the use of the website as the go-to information site for a broad range of Chamber and regional information and update the look of external communications such as the Chamber newspaper, Make It Your Business.
Restoring local Government efficiency and effectiveness:
The Chamber must identify new ways of delivering better services at less cost and seek a fairer deal for local business.
Networking & Education: ”Be Seen”
Business networking is a valuable socioeconomic activity by which our members can interact with others to establish healthy relationships and conduct various forms of business activities. The Chamber will plan, organize and execute special programs and events to provide networking opportunities for members. Work to leverage membership contacts to identify more interesting and creative networking and event opportunities. Facilitating member connections through team involvement, educational opportunities, and strategic partnering with other Chambers, signature events or activities throughout the area. The Chamber will create an atmosphere in which business and education leaders build partnership to better meet the professional development of our members.
A vibrant Chamber relies on a healthy membership base. The importance of membership retention and membership growth is paramount to sustainable Chamber activity. The Chamber will increase membership recruitment efforts while retaining existing members. The Chamber will continue to promote its value and position itself as an organization worth supporting.