A Plan to Lift Up Our Community

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Duluth is a great place to live. Our Chamber is working to ensure it is also a great place to do business. We are partnering with organizations and individuals, in a shared effort, to move our beloved community forward. Good things are happening. We are a city on the rise. Success begets success.
Yet, we must boldly and unwavering address several community challenges if our Zenith City is going to continue its ascent in 2020. Thankfully, the Chamber has a plan—a specific, engaging, and ambitious plan to move our community forward.
Before I share the details, let me assure you that we realize how important it is to make this noble effort a shared effort. While the Chamber serves as our area’s premier advocate for business, we do so by engaging local elected officials, government leaders, labor leaders and volunteer leaders from various advocacy groups. Initiating and retaining these crucial partnerships actively creates innovative opportunities to advance our community.
The Chamber brings all that we can marshal to this collaborative, mighty undertaking. Thankfully, with the support of those that stand beside us, we can rise to the occasion with confidence. We will engage the power of our 1,011 members, our 22 board members, our 2,100 key business contacts, and our 6 staff members. In 2020, our key initiatives will include:
  • Collaborating with the Northland Foundation, St. Louis County, the City of Duluth, and others interested in generating solutions to address our region’s child care shortage.
  • Joining forces with local elected officials, city officials, and developers to generate additional housing solutions.
  •  Striving to ensure that Duluth’s traditional economic base is supported by our community and our elected officials. This base includes: port operations, transportation services, manufacturing, bulk commodity handling, and related services. We will advocate for municipal funding for: docks, shipping channels, railroad rights-of-way, Interstate highways, and our international airport.
  • Championing economic development in an effort to enhance our community through expanding the tax base and creating new jobs.
  •  Advocating at the Minnesota Legislature to garner financial and public policy support for Duluth area businesses and organizations.
  • Embracing emerging and growing economic sectors which add economic, cultural, and social diversity. These include: higher education, healthcare, outdoor recreation, historic resources interpretation, arts and music, information technology, and visitor services.
  • Leveraging, in a responsible and honorable way, the competitive advantage our community enjoys by being located on the shores of the Greatest of the Great Lakes and the St. Louis River.
  • Addressing the need to grow our region’s workforce. This includes working to provide the attractive housing options and ample child care options needed to attract workers.
  • Enhancing our Zenith City’s image by emphasizing community attributes, such as: access to regional transportation, clean water, and a well-educated workforce.
To accomplish the above, the Chamber envisions an engaged, inclusive business community moving forward. Our efforts will build on the hard work, resiliency, and optimism channeled into the Chamber for the past 149 years. In 2020, we are celebrating 150 years of moving business forward within our shining city on the hill.
We do so with gratitude for the privilege of serving several generations of business community members. We do so with a confidence and a resolve gained by standing, shoulder to shoulder for 150 years, with those who seek to lift up our beloved community. Every year we grow stronger.
Let’s press forward—together.
In unwavering support,
David Ross