The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce was recognized for its commitment to retaining jobs as a partner of Grow Minnesota!, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s distinctive private-sector economic development program. It is one of 60 local partners in the statewide network.
“Grow Minnesota! celebrates 10 years of thanking businesses for investing in their communities and our state,” said Bill Blazar, Minnesota Chamber senior vice president of public affairs and business development. “Key to our visits, we learn what it will take to keep a company in Minnesota, and when necessary, linking the owners and managers to the appropriate private- and/or public-sector resources to help solve its problems.”
Local chambers are at the foundation of the program’s statewide successes, Blazar said. During its 10 years, the program volunteers has connected with more than 7,000 Minnesota companies and provided direct assistance to more than 1,000 businesses. Retention efforts have protected close to 15,000 jobs.
The Elk River Chamber has been a partner for four years and has completed more than 60 visits to area business to say thank you for doing business here. While on visits the chamber listens to business owners’ concerns and successes. During the past four years, the chamber heard about the pain caused by congestion on the two major highways that run through Elk River and about the difficulty of understanding the current sign ordinance: both of these topics were studied by the chamber’s government relations committee. Additionally businesses shared the strengths of Elk River, which include energy reliability, proximity to suppliers and a strong workforce and work ethic.
Commissioner Katie Sieben Clark, of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, joined Minnesota Chamber officials in presenting a certificate of recognition to the local partners. “Thank you for advancing economic development in Minnesota,” she said. “You play a critical role in retaining and growing Minnesota companies.”
The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1968, represents nearly 350 local businesses and is the single organization that advocates, educates and promotes area business. The Chamber builds dynamic relationships by connecting members to each other, the community and government.