Growing the economy is no easy task. The benefits to the private and public sectors, individual entrepreneurs and companies of finding success in this endeavor are far-reaching, and therefore are worthy of our best efforts.
Driven by that idea, it was natural for the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce to expand its advocacy efforts for member businesses to the economic development arena. That idea became our collaborative Phoenix Forward initiative, which leverages the strengths and resources of our powerful partners – the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the Arizona Commerce Authority – to enhance our region’s competitive edge through connecting businesses to vital resources, gathering industry intelligence and influencing public policy.
The fact that 80 percent of new jobs come from the expansion of existing Arizona businesses has really driven our Phoenix Forward efforts. Since July 2015, the Chamber’s economic development team has conducted visits at 250 businesses, connecting those entities with whichever resources they need to grow. When we add the similar efforts of our partners, the number grows to nearly 900 visits… and counting.
I credit our collective effort to help hundreds of Arizona businesses grow as the impetus for the Arizona Capitol Times 2016 Leaders of the Year (LOTY) award in the economic development category that I will accept Oct. 13 on behalf of all of us, who work tirelessly to grow the economy – one employee and one business at a time.
I encourage any business – whether you’re looking to hire additional employees, find more facility space, talk to government officials or anything in between – to contact our Phoenix Forward economic development team. Our group of dedicated professionals led by Economic Development Vice President Jennifer Mellor is ready to help you grow, thrive and succeed.
I thank the Arizona Capitol Times for recognizing the game-changing efforts of our collaborative, business-community driven Phoenix Forward initiative with the 2016 Leaders of the Year award for economic development. I also offer congratulations to all of the business and community leaders being honored with this year’s LOTY awards.