The Chamber could strengthen its methods of connecting employers to potential employees.

And, the Chamber could explore solutions to challenges with parking, especially downtown.

But, the local Chamber probably isn’t positioned well to help farmers receive a fairer price for the corn and soybeans they sell in great abundance.

These are a few of the conclusions drawn during Chamber Business Sector Meetings in late January and continuing this month.

The Business Sector Meetings, also known as “Be the Voice” meetings, have taken place Jan. 27 for Finance, Jan. 28 for Health/Wellbeing, Feb. 3 for Retail/Restaurants, Feb. 4 for Housing/Property Managers and Feb. 10 for Manufacturing/Agriculture.

Meetings, always from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Chamber office with free cookies and coffee, will continue Feb. 19 with Non-Profits/Education/Religious and February 25 with Service.

We’re solving the world’s problems one sector at a time. Okay, well, actually, we’re addressing community challenges and trying to make inroads, business sector by business sector.

The brainstorming has been enlightening. As one collective voice, the Chamber harbors significant horsepower. An organization of 240 members pulling in the same direction can effect positive change.

Attendance at the Business Sector Meetings has been anywhere from five folks to 11. It has given all attendees an adequate opportunity to be heard. There are all sorts of ways the Chamber can leverage its people power to spread messages, promote the products or services that are sold in this community, encourage a fair playing field in a pro-business environment, retain existing businesses, recruit new businesses, partner with other organizations, celebrate the consumerism, cultural and workforce contributions that diversity brings, and position ourselves as a community of preference.

The mission of the St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce is to stimulate economic growth and enhance quality of life. Compare St. Peter to other towns where you have lived, worked and visited. How’s the feel? What could happen to make it better, or even better?

The Chamber Business Sector Meetings were designed to answer that question, but, the Member Relations Committee designed those meetings and wants to keep the conversation going. You can “Be the Voice!”

E-mail a note to Edlee@stpeterchamber.com. Telephone us at 507-934-3400. Heck, catch me in the frozen foods section at Family Fresh Market or at the gas pumps of Kwik Trip. I always love hearing from folks.

Ed Lee is executive director of the St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce.

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