At a recent Connect for Success meeting for the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO Tim Murray (Former LT. Governor of Massachusetts) talked about the growth and direction of the chamber as it pertains to small business. Thirty to forty business owners were in attendance at this meeting, which is a regularly occurring networking meeting that happens twice a month.
Some great things are happening in Worcester and even throughout Worcester County. Tim indicated very clearly and succinctly that it is “not my vision, it’s the members’ vision and the board’s [Chamber of Commerce] vision”. Tim very directly stated that he was approached by the board to run the organization and that the board had a vision that they were going for, that was a direct result of speaking with and listening to their members.
The Worcester Chamber of Commerce is made up of many small to medium sized businesses, and a greater number of businesses are actually micro businesses of less than 10 employees. This is clear when you speak with other members at some of the great networking events.
Based on what Tim said, you are going to see a lot of action in Economic Development with a focus on “Retain, Recruit, and Incubate”. He talked a lot about the connection with our many colleges and universities and the fact that we have a great deal of graduates getting degrees in STEM fields, which really results in fantastic opportunities down the road for some unique and innovative companies and start-ups to launch in Worcester. Running Start should be a great help for this as well. They provide incubator space for entrepreneurs just starting out. With over 35000 college students in Worcester, Tim said “Our growth is linked to our colleges”….and frankly I agree.
Tim opened the floor to questions and there were many, including diverse topics, such as how can we recruit businesses in the technology sector when things like the IT Tax get pushed through with very little notice. Tim indicated that there are some challenges ahead, but that he and his team at the chamber of commerce are focused on driving results for the member businesses.
To that end… the 2013 Central Mass Business Expo, organized by the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, is on Wed October 2nd at the DCU Center in Worcester. Over 150 businesses will be exhibiting and there will be seminars run during the day to help educate business owners on many different topics. There are also some fantastic keynotes, including John Jacobs from Life is Good, and Dave Barge, CEO of JetBlue! I hope to see you there! Be a part of the business resurgence in Worcester and attend the expo to meet other business owners. Collaboration is key, and this could be the first step in a great new relationship that could mean a great deal of business for your company. See you there!
If you are interested in attending this group and growing your business, contact me, and I can talk to you about the group to give you some insight and details prior to your first visit. There is no cost to be a member of this group, but you do have to apply.