Vail Valley Partnership CEO: Community involvement is a prerequisite for business success (column)
September 6, 2018
Locals know the Vail Valley offers a unique mixture of small town life, rural character, mountain living and big city amenities, which creates a "just right" quality of life balance that even the most jaded among us appreciate.
Our communities here hold real opportunity for hard-working entrepreneurs, business owners and employees determined to live out the lives of their dreams in the mountains of Colorado.
Not surprisingly for a chamber of commerce organization, we believe quality of life begins with a good job. And finding a good job often requires connections and a strong network. As such, we're here to assist Eagle County's entrepreneur community, second homeowners and prospective residents in deciding what they want, identifying desired results and balancing tradeoffs to achieve business success.
One benefit of working at a regional chamber of commerce such as Vail Valley Partnership is the opportunity to meet with such people across geographic boundaries and from numerous industry segments on a regular basis. We get to help these people in their business endeavors to start, grow or buy a business, or to grow their career here in the mountains.
Often, new or prospective business owners reach out to us to learn about the community. We're happy to help, of course, and have a variety of data and research to help guide business plans, prospectus documents and loan requests.
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This information — local demographics, economic trends, population growth estimates, average weekly wages across industry and more — is necessary for business success. Data is knowledge, and without good data you're at a significant disadvantage.
As important as data is, it is just one piece of success. Assuming an entrepreneur knows his or her business and has the data and market information for their industry, there remains one prerequisite for success: community involvement.
Few would argue that engaging local communities can be arduous when dealing with cliques, social structures and a transient community that can conspire against even the best business operator.
Starting a new business can be difficult at the best of times, let alone for entrepreneurs in a transient resort-oriented environment. Yet the fact remains that community engagement and involvement is a prerequisite for business success in the Vail Valley. Businesses that have done well in engaging with the community have a head start over those that try to go it alone.
Vail Valley Partnership is excited to introduce a new Community Membership Level to support the integration of new networks into the membership base. This level is intended for individuals who are not affiliated with a business or whose employer is not already a Partnership member. These are "solopreneurs" who own their own business with no other employees, and retirees or part-time residents who are looking to engage with the business community.
The community membership is aligned with our established role as community convener and our role to connect community leaders. Offering this new membership tier will allow existing Partnership member businesses to grow their networks by increasing the exposure of their business offerings to a new audience. Additionally, the Community Membership Level offers individuals the opportunity to connect with the Vail Valley Partnership network.
Whether you just moved to the area, are a retiree or a startup business, the Community Membership gives you access to the Vail Valley Partnership network through networking and educational events as well as exclusive member savings programs.
This membership tier also serves to help achieve our goal of building communities to which residents, visitors and investors are attracted by establishing a connection between the business community and individuals (retirees, location neutral, solopreneurs) who are not traditional chamber members.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com.