Local Profile: The Plano Chamber’s Strategy To Engage Local Business In 2022
For 76 years, the Plano Chamber of Commerce has dedicated its efforts and resources to serving and supporting the local business community. Today, it continues to provide bold and visionary leadership for the Plano region by focusing on people: People who run companies, people who lead education and people who make the city thrive.
Two years have passed since COVID-19 turned the local business community on its head, forcing business owners and professionals at all levels to adapt and innovate to survive during uncertain times of constantly evolving restrictions and unforeseen challenges. Plano Chamber leadership has spent the last year evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the local business community and creating a plan to lead us forward during this critical time.
As part of a new strategic plan, the Chamber has simplified its offerings to amplify the work in its most critical focus areas for recovery from the pandemic: focusing on job growth, small business support and community impact. The result is the addition of new programs and the return of several established signature events to flank what is shaping up to be a year of impact for the organization.
In April, the Chamber is kicking off the return of its signature Plano First Executive Luncheon series in person, featuring keynote speaker Martina McIsaac, CEO of Hilti North America. This is in addition to sold-out crowds at the Women’s Division monthly luncheon, celebrating the program’s 50th year of supporting and encouraging women in business. And the Plano Chamber is looking forward to bringing back its two largest annual events, Best of Plano and our Annual Meeting, for in-person audiences in late 2022 and early 2023.
Three new programs are setting the tone for the Chamber’s impact in 2022.
- The Chamber recently formed and is currently funding the Plano Works Leadership Foundation. The purpose of this new foundation is to educate and inspire people who want to make a difference as community leaders and contributors to the regional workforce. The Chamber’s proven history of leadership development will propel the foundation to really build and celebrate a diverse community with the skills and experience to enact meaningful change, together. Proven programs like Leadership Plano and the Plano Culture and Inclusion Alliance will join new ventures like Plano United Business to broaden access to resources for Plano Chamber member businesses and build these programs into true community catalysts.
- And speaking of Plano United Business (PUB), this groundbreaking program will serve as a model for collaborative partnerships for years to come. Minority and women-owned small businesses are now invited to earn a scholarship providing access to Chamber membership for two years, business coaching and mentorship, specially-designed educational forums and community involvement opportunities. Sponsored by Regions Bank, PUB is now seeking applications from companies across Collin County who wish to remove barriers and thrive in our region.
- And finally, a hyper focus on legislative impact and voter engagement will help set the stage for our community for years to come. In 2022, due to redistricting, every state-wide office is on the election ballot in November. The Chamber is leading initiatives to engage with voters, especially first-time voters, through new voter education tools and resources. Partnerships with Collin County Votes, Trinity Public Affairs and a nine-chamber North Texas coalition are helping equip Plano Chamber members with the information they need to make educated choices on the ballot and prepare for our next Texas legislative session, only nine months away.
Small businesses, learning how their products and services fit into the larger ecosystem, and community champions, leading the business community in giving back and making the Plano region a better place to live, work and do business, make up the membership of the Plano Chamber. The Chamber is uniquely positioned to help our members, and businesses of all sizes and from all industries, reach their goals and maintain the high quality of life for all residents, employees, and customers.