Growing Business and Community

Growing Business and Community
As printed in the Lewiston Sentinel / Niagara Frontier Publications
Feb 3, 2023

What do you think of when the words economic growth is mentioned?   What does that mean to your business?  What keeps you up at night?   These are the questions that we will be asking throughout the year. The Board of Directors of the Chamber have charged themselves in making sure that the organization is and will create positive economic growth for our members and the community.

January has come and gone in a blink of an eye.  One month down in 2023.  Our Chamber Board is using this year to create a plan.  To use a strategic approach to serving our members.  To be honest, it’s been way too long since we have made a plan that is actually relevant to what we do.  We have had some sessions along the way, but they served the short term.  Not the long haul, which is what we are here for.  

The Board of Directors of the Chamber spent an entire work day dedicated to moving our mission forward and creating a 2-page strategy that we can use over the next three years.  Actually it's more in line with four years, as this 2-page document has not been created yet!  It probably won’t be finished for a few more months as our board leaders work to fine tune what we need to do. We brought in a Chamber Strategist from Oregon.  Yes. We used someone who is not from this area and only had a surface level knowledge of our organization.  It was just what we needed.   We found out that we certainly all think a lot of things about what our direction should be.  The hard part is narrowing it down and creating a plan to move business forward.

If you have ever been through a professionally led strategic planning session, then you know that a ton of ideas become generated in that space!  The right facilitator will do their research ahead of time and bring forth specific information to lead discussion. The reality of what needs to be focused on comes to light, and the realization of the work to be done sets in.  It is exhilarating and scary at the same time. I know that our board members left the day with a lot to think about and a renewed sense of purpose for the Chamber.  Here are some of the words to describe the session: Excited, Hopeful, Optimistic, Encouraged, Positive, Energized, Tripped off the hamster wheel, Eager, Direction.


Then of course the staff said they were exhausted and overwhelmed - in a good way!

There is a lot to do and we can’t wait to draw you into the Chamber’s equation for success!  Find out what we have been up to online at


Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce

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