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To Merge or Not? What Chamber and Economic Development Pros Have to Say About This Recurring Question

September 11, 2019

Category: White Papers

To Merge or Not? What Chamber and Economic Development Pros Have to Say About This Recurring Question



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This trend is often driven by another important trend – regionalism. For example, the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce and the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance merged in 2019 to form the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce – an organization that will promote economic development in a region that spans two states. Independently, these organizations were advocating for their own economic development interests but realized they could be far more effective as a regional organization, especially when it comes to business attraction. “Whenever we’re working with site selection consultants or working with companies about locating to new sites or buildings, they don’t care about arbitrary municipal boundaries or even state lines. They care about what the work force is going to look like within a 30-mile drive of this dot on the map,” said Barkley Garrett, Director of Economic Development for the Greater Niles Chamber. By merging the two organizations, Garrett and his colleagues will be better able to address the needs of executives and site selectors. This notion that smaller communities can and should compete much more effectively through closer collaboration has and will continue to drive discussions of organizational consolidations and mergers.




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“NCDS has been our fundraising firm of choice since they first helped us devise the Forward Sioux Falls operating model in 1987, and raised $1.8 million to implement it.  Not only is the firm exceptionally skilled at raising money, they also understand the importance of generating buy-in and sustained commitment.  NCDS has helped us exceed goal in seven campaigns, the latest of which has a $15.5 million target, and when the current campaign is completed, NCDS will have helped us raise $53 million to fund our initiatives.  Our top community leaders expect the best from our organization, and the exceptional team at NCDS always works hard to help us exceed those expectations.” 

Evan Nolte, President & CEO • Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

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