This community continues to warm my heart. It is filled with generous people: generous business owners, employers, employees and citizens. People who give of their time to volunteer, sit on boards, serve on city or county commissions, or who donate to the latest fundraiser.
The Chamber’s strategic plan is of course centered around business. Advocating for businesses and a business-friendly environment and offering programs and services to help businesses thrive. Commerce is crucial to any community. It is why I continue to mention the importance of supporting our local businesses (keep your eye out for information on Small Business Saturday coming up soon). The Chamber helps you highlight your business: we love to mention all the good things happening to our members, especially on social media, plus we have affordable advertising and numerous sponsorship opportunities. But the Chamber is also about the people and connections. The relationships you can build and develop by being involved in the Chamber can only help grow your business and you often can’t put a price on that. It’s the people of this community that make it what it is. Additionally, a principal advantage our community has going for it is the partnerships. Ones that have been established for a while and the ones that are developing and growing stronger. We become stronger when we collaborate.
Last week, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be asked to join a team to run the Bakken X-trek put on by the Williston Parks and Recreation District. It was a stretch for me to run the 5K and attempt to go through the many (often dirty!) obstacles. It taught me a few things – or at least reminded me:
- You can keep going long after you think you can’t (I blogged about this before but it is worth repeating).
- Bruises don’t last long, but the accomplished feeling of completing something does.
- I could not have done it without my team. The Williston All-Stars invited me on their team and while I may have been their weakest link, they encouraged me along the way and helped me over some of the toughest obstacles. An outstretched hand is a wonderful thing!
That last one is most important: Working as a team and cultivating partnerships in this community is key to our success as a region.
The Chamber partners with Small Business Development Center, Williston Economic Development, TrainND, Williston State College, Job Services of ND, and many others – all to strengthen and unify our business community! I am confident in our direction. With the boom, this community was forced to make necessary improvements to roads, water, and other things we often take for granted. The city and county leaders had the forethought to make sure they considered not just the immediate needs but those in the future as well. The Lewis and Clark bridge project, water treatment improvements, the new water resource recovery facility, expansions to landfill, law enforcement and fire stations are just a few that have been or will recently be completed. We are well poised to continue our growth. Particularly with the new XWA airport project underway.
The Chamber stands for business and we stand for this community. The Chamber will continue to be the champion for this united business community.