The Brookfield Area Growth Partnership (BAGP) hosted its first “Let Talk Business” reception at the Business and Community Development Center (207 North Main Street) on September 20th.
More than 40 local business leaders and officials had the privilege of meeting and hearing from Christopher Chung of the Missouri Partnership. In 2007, Chris joined the Missouri Partnership as the public-private, non-profit corporation’s first Chief Executive Officer. In addition to having led the organization through its initial start-up phase, Chris now directs the Partnership’s efforts to market Missouri for new business investment and recruit new employers to the state. The Missouri Partnership, in close collaboration with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and regional and local economic development organizations around the state, spearheads Missouri’s global efforts to attract new industry and jobs to the state’s communities.
Along with giving those in attendance a brief overview of the activities and growing successes of the Missouri Partnership, Chris offered his expert view on how communities can best position themselves for increased business investment and job creation. He indicated there were three separate strategies. First, and most importantly, he pointed out that the largest percentage of new jobs stem from existing businesses. Taking care of what you already have in place and helping them grow was a stressed priority. The second strategy was growing new businesses through entrepreneurial initiatives and third (and the most difficult) is attracting new businesses to move into your area. The latter is the statewide focus of the Missouri Partnership.
A question and answer session followed Mr. Chung’s formal comments. When asked what we should do to market our rural communities, Chris emphasized the importance of being prepared. He indicated that communities whose assets include an available certified site, a qualified workforce, and a demonstrated pride in appearance and infrastructure would be most appealing to businesses looking to relocate.