April 19, 2021

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YEAR-AHEAD SERIES, DAY 7: Business / Our shared route forward follows many paths

2 min read

The Duluth Area Chamber’s board of directors recently distributed a survey to our 980 members asking them to share with us what they believe should be our priorities as we enter 2021. Additionally, the 22 business community leaders who serve on our board identified what they consider our community’s most critical issues. Furthermore, my talented colleagues who work at the chamber identified what they believe to be the greatest challenges the chamber must address in the upcoming year.

Together, we distilled this cornucopia of valuable input and insight into what will serve as the chamber’s path forward in 2021.

I share this detail to assure everyone we have a thorough, specific, energizing plan to move our beloved community forward. We will marshal the chamber’s collective capacity and influence to forward these key initiatives:

  • Child care: Collaborate with others interested in generating solutions to address our region’s child care shortage.

  • Housing: Encourage elected officials and developers to generate housing solutions for our community.

  • COVID-19 recovery: Serve as a trusted source for advocacy, information, and encouragement as we, together, fortify our business community’s recovery.

  • Public services: Challenge elected officials to create additional efficiencies in the delivery of public services.

  • Equality of opportunity: Generate solutions to the barrier of inequity of opportunity, which holds our community back from engaging every individual in moving our community forward.

  • Competitive advantage: Articulate and promote a positive image of our business community by emphasizing our business community’s fortifying attributes.

  • Workforce development: Engage in a collaborative effort to address the need to grow and fortify our region’s workforce.

  • Community marketing: Encourage an environment wherein community members are convincingly presented the benefits of business-sector and population growth.

  • Industry: Advocate for the fortification of Duluth’s traditional economic base as an industrial port.

  • Diverse economy: Promote emerging and growing economic sectors which add economic, cultural, and social diversity.

  • Economic development: Champion economic development that enhances our community by expanding our tax base and creating new jobs.

  • Legislative advocacy: Encourage local elected officials to make decisions that create a supportive environment for doing business in our area.

  • Microbusinesses: Serve as a valuable resource to local businesses with five or fewer employees as they face unique challenges associated with their size.

The chamber’s leadership realizes how important it is to make these initiatives a collaborative, shared effort. We will engage the knowledge and talents of local elected officials, government leaders, labor leaders, and leaders from various advocacy groups to fulfill these ambitious goals.

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Our Zenith City is a great place to live. We will work together as we move forward to ensure it is also a great place to do business.

David Ross is president of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune at the request of the Opinion page.