Objective 1: Provide the programs, projects, workshops, seminars, and services that meet the professional development and business relationship building needs of our small business members.
- Conduct a programming needs assessment to determine our member’s training needs.
- Provide a series of six – eight seminars and workshops each year to meet the developmental needs of small businesses.
- Host an annual business expo for member businesses to have the opportunity to promote and market their products and services, and grow their customer base.
- Develop partnerships with SCORE, Lone Star College, appropriate regional colleges, and others (i.e., financial institutions) to provide appropriate programs and services to mentor and support existing and potential business owners.
- Provide various opportunities for networking, business relationship building, and exposure, while generating non-dues revenue for the organization.
- Business After Hours
- Business to Business Networking Breakfast
- Chairman’s Ball
- Golf Tournament
- Explore new options for better member and employee participation at Chamber seminars, workshops, and business focused events.
Objective 2: Create a Division to provide programs, services, and projects that will retain and grow our minority and women-owned small business sector.
- Host focus groups to determine the specific needs of minority businesses (Women, Hispanic, African-American, and other minority owned businesses).
- Recognize small emerging and existing businesses on an annual basis each year.
- Minority(Women / Hispanic / African – American)
- Utilize / Partner with SCORE to mentor and advise minority business owners.
- Utilize regional Small Business Development Centers as a business resource.
- Develop a business-to-business mentoring program.
- Fully utilize our qualified members when possible
- Develop”roundtable”discussion sessions for minority owned businesses.
- Launch “Women in Business” event to encourage professional development and networking among female professionals in our service area.
Objective 3: Develop programs and resources to encourage entrepreneurism.
- Work with the appropriate agencies to develop information and resources to assist entrepreneurs in moving their ideas from daydreams to reality.
- Explore the establishment of a Conroe Entrepreneurs Resource Network (CERN)
- A collaboration of businesses / educational institutions / organizations
- Establish a series of workshops to educate and train potential entrepreneurs.
- Establish an Entrepreneurs “Boot Camp” to offer entrepreneurial training. Examples:
- One evening per week for 6-8 weeks of intensive education.
- Benchmark other chamber programs that are successful.
- Develop a small business / entrepreneur resource portal to our website.
- Develop an Entrepreneurial contest with cash awards & in-kind services.
- Spartanburg, SC – Main Street Challenge
- Durham, NC – Store Front Window
- Knoxville, TN -Big Ideas!
- Utilize SBA and other appropriate organizations to determine best approach.
- Create a small business solutions center to offer resources, training, and educate small businesses on “best practices.”
- Offer a series of educational workshops to assist small businesses in understanding how to become compliant with government regulations; permitting processes, etc. (utilize IRS and SBA).
- Post information and appropriate links on website (i.e. Small Business Support Hotline and SBA).
- Post legislative and regulatory concerns of small business on Chamber website along with current actions of our Public Policy committee.
- Utilize the Texas Association of Business
Objective 4: Work with other appropriate organizations in our region to make it easier to create and operate a business in Conroe, Montgomery, and Willis.
- Develop a task force of business owners, appropriate city & county staff and others to review the process of establishing a business.
- Identify obstacles and constraints.
- Suggest and, when appropriate,offer solutions.
- Conduct surveys, focus groups, and a business visitation program to determine the key challenges as it relates to operating a business in Conroe, Montgomery, Willis, and throughout Montgomery County.
Objective 5: Engage our larger businesses in the programming and work of the Chamber.
- Establish a visitation (business retention call) program with our larger companies to establish a rapport and develop an understanding of their specific needs and requirements.
- Determine their unique needs and assist when appropriate
- Ask for their participation and that of their key employees