What is Phoenix Forward?
Phoenix Forward>> is a collaborative, strategic approach to economic development established by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County. Phoenix Forward>> connects with and supports local businesses in target industry sectors that are poised for growth. This initiative was designed, developed and driven by the business community to focus on a more robust, dynamic business retention and expansion effort. This focused approach to business retention and expansion aims to drive the growth and sustainability of the local economy.
Why launch this initiative?
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce launched Phoenix Forward>> to expand upon its existing economic development portfolio. Together with the City of Phoenix, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Maricopa County, we are removing barriers to success and enabling existing businesses to continue to grow, expand and create new jobs. We are excited to facilitate the growth and sustainability of our local economy.
How will Phoenix Forward grow our local economy?
Phoenix Forward>> and its partners are working to create a more positive image for the region and foster a pro-business environment focused on quality jobs, business expansions and capital investment. Eighty percent of new jobs are created by existing businesses, and this unique partnership identifies opportunities and works collaboratively to meet the needs of existing Arizona companies and industries.
What are the key industries this initiative will focus on?
Phoenix Forward>> focuses on four industry sectors: Advanced Business & Financial Services, Bioscience, Health Care and Transportation & Logistics.
How does Phoenix Forward support local businesses?
Through Phoenix Forward>>, economic development specialists meet with businesses to gain an understanding of their operations and assess their opportunities for expansion. The specialists connect these businesses to vital resources and help remove barriers to growth. Using data gathered through these visits, the Chamber will influence public policy and leverage media to promote the region’s innovation ecosystem, ultimately strengthening the region’s competitive edge.
How is Phoenix Forward funded?
Phoenix Forward>> is funded through business investment. In order to launch the Phoenix Forward initiative, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce launched a capital campaign, which was 100 percent funded by the business community.
What are the benefits of being an investor in Phoenix Forward?
As an investor of Phoenix Forward>>, businesses further invest in growing our economy from within. Investors are invited to participate in media briefings, engage in oversight of the Phoenix Forward>> initiative and receive exposure through the Phoenix Forward>> website and related collateral. To see a list of current investors, please click here.
How does Phoenix Forward differ from the work being done at the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC)?
All three groups share a keen interest in economic development for the Greater Phoenix region, each with a unique approach. Phoenix Forward>> focuses on business retention and expansion, aggregating industry intelligence, promoting the region and tackling policy and regulatory challenges that face the targeted industry sectors. The ACA uses a broad, three-pronged approach to advance Arizona’s overall economy: recruit, grow and create. The ACA works to recruit innovative out-of-state companies to establish new operations in Arizona, helps companies already operating in the state to grow their businesses, and partners with entrepreneurs to create new businesses and jobs in emerging areas. GPEC’s mission is heavily focused on business attraction, which is vital to continued economic growth. This makes our initiative even more important in creating the right business climate to attract these companies.
What are the strategies and goals for 2015 and beyond?
Phoenix Forward>> fosters a business environment that cultivates growth, innovation and success for businesses in the region. To achieve that, a number of strategies are part of the action plan, including:

  • Business outreach for retention and expansion: An aggressive outreach program has been implemented that focuses on developing comprehensive relationships with businesses in the targeted industry sectors.
  • Industry intelligence: We will analyze trends, gather and monitor regional economic data on target industries, and report and strategize on key economic indicators.
  • Regional image building: Phoenix Forward>> will promote industry sectors and generate greater positive exposure for the region and its businesses.
  • Policy and advocacy: We will leverage the Chamber’s well-established reputation at all levels of government to advocate on behalf of industry sectors.
  • What are the Industry Leadership Councils and who is spearheading them?
    The Leadership Councils, led by co-chairs in their respective industries, facilitate knowledge-sharing for the mutual benefit of the targeted industry businesses to compete more effectively both nationally and internationally. The Leadership Councils analyze and act on intelligence gained through business outreach efforts and industry trends to strengthen the industry sector. Learn more about the Industry Leadership Councils and Co-Chairs by visiting their respective pages.
    What is the Health Care Sector Partnership?
    The Health Care Sector Partnership is a group of thought leaders in the health care industry who collaborate to address issues facing the industry. The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, under the Health Care Leadership Council, assumed the role as convener of this group in January 2015. The partnership is focused on four key areas:

  • Grow the health care workforce needed for the future
  • Drive health care innovation and collaborations aimed at making health care more cost-effective.
  • Expand medical tourism.
  • Strengthen Phoenix as a destination for wellness and quality of life.
  • Who can I contact for more information about Phoenix Forward?
    To learn more about Phoenix Forward>> or if you would like to visit with an economic development specialist, contact Economic Development Manager Claudia Whitehead at cwhitehead@phoenixchamber.com.