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Strategic Plan

Our Mission “to improve the overall business climate for its members through sponsorship of programs which stimulates economic growth and promotes civic development.” Vision Statement The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the voice of the local business community for a better business environment. The Chamber acts as a catalyst for business and economic growth by encouraging education opportunities, effective community planning and promoting a positive community image and attitude towards economic opportunities.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES: As the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, we believe: The Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the economic vitality of the community. That membership in the Chamber is an investment in the economic health of the community. In being flexible and forward thinking. In a strong working relationship among Board, staff and members, and that those relationships are best supported by a shared vision and values. That strategic thinking, planning and follow-through are essential for our success and that Havre does have a good future and we play a role in developing that future. That it is the role of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce to monitor issues of pertinence to the business community as they arise and to strive to influence the outcome of those issues for the benefit of our membership and the betterment of the community. 

Membership Development 

The purpose of this goal is to grow the Chamber membership along with sustaining membership retention. The Chamber Ambassadors play a key role in welcoming new members. 

Chamber Board Liaison: 

Membership is the backbone of the Chamber.   The Chamber will look at new and better ways to serve the membership. The Chamber will work to facilitate, where and when possible, workshops for the businesses of Havre.  Community relations and marketing will continue with regards to Chamber projects that benefit the membership and the community. Communications is key in this area. 

GOAL: Assist the Chamber Executive in developing programs to encourage participation in Chamber events and retention of Chamber members. Everyone belongs to the Chamber for a different reason. The all don’t preserve value the same way.

OBJECTIVES:

  • For 2017 use the new Chamber member door sticker as that Board to Member visit to say Thank you.  Developed a member retention program for board members to visits members each month. (Started in 2012 and continued in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the wishes of the Board President.    
  • Continue building relationships, creating relevance, and showing return on investment. 
  • Continue to improve our communications to our members and the resources and opportunities available to them. 
  • During months a Chamber newsletter isn’t printed, an article will go in the newspaper and the other month- an email newsletter will be sent out.
  • Continue to encourage sustaining and new members to participate in Chamber events.
  • Work with Ambassadors to add value to new member ribbon cuttings. 
  • Celebrate business milestones of sustaining members.
  • Continue to develop seminars, workshops and programs for membership benefits. (workshops on using web and Facebook to market business)
  • Regularly survey membership on issues and topics related to community and businesses to keep board updated.
  • Work to get all Chamber members listed on the Website Business Directory.
  • Enhance new member recognitions with Facebook posts.
  • Develop a yearly plan to regularly send membership emails noting membership benefits. 

Ambassador Committee

CHAIRS:  Joanna Skiff, Independence Bank and Jenn Thompson, State Farm Insurance

GOAL: As the official welcoming arm to the Chamber: the Ambassadors, to promote good will and an awareness of the Chamber activities. 

OBJECTIVES:

  • Re-developed a successful Business After Hours Program in 2016. Will continue into 2017.
  • Set up a plan to develop the Cash Mob activity- started in 2013 successfully & continues.
  • Organize Ribbon Cuttings for new Chamber members and increase member participation through communicating with membership and board.
  • Facilitate Grand Openings and Re-grand Openings for new Havre businesses that are

Chamber members. 

  • Help with Community Tree Lighting- securing Santa and help with kids baskets, Host Lunch with Santa. 
  • Help host the Chamber’s Annual Meeting.

Building Economy 

Chamber Board Liaison:  

The purpose for this goal is to help grow current Havre and area business and assist with recruitment of new businesses all the while making Havre a better place to live and work. The Chamber will continue to work on projects that Build Economy.  This strategic focus has several areas:  Business Development, Transportation and Workforce.   

Business Development 

CO-CHAIRS:   Jacob Lorang and Jerry Waltari

GOAL: To assist in retaining and supporting existing businesses; assist (when and where possible) in the recruitment of new business; support community development opportunities.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Expand the current committee currently made up of representatives from MSU-Northern, Havre Public Schools, Northern Montana Hospital, City of Havre, Hill County, Bear Paw Development, businesses and the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, to include more main street businesses, in order to discuss opportunities for business growth.  Organize regular business tours for the committee to have an expanded vision of current business happenings in Havre. 
  • Partner with Northern to sustain its economic role in the community- set up quarterly meeting with Northern Chancellor and businesses.
  • Community relations:–Continue to make updates to the Community Profile, establish an economic development effort with local media.
  • Use the City/County Growth Policy to guide the Chamber with projects and community development. (The Chamber participated in the development of the new policy)
  • The Chamber advocates for its members through a variety of public affairs to city, county, state and federal officials to foster a business environment where business can survive and succeed.  
  • Work with city and county on potential areas of development: Proposed industrial park.

Work with city on opportunities for business: street dining, sandwich board signs, downtown beatification. 

Transportation

Transportation is vital to community growth and affects all sectors of the business community.  Quality air service, rail service, public transportation and the 24-hour commercial port status for Wild Horse will be the priorities for transportation.

GOAL:    To have quality and dependable area transportation  

OBJECTIVES: 

  • Assist where possible the marketing of our air service and support the airport.   
  • Post on web site our area transportation services.
  • Partner with EAS to have quality, dependable air service.
  • Continue to support North Central Transit. Continue to get the word out about the services provided – including schedules. 
  • Continue to be an active player with all work being done on the proposed expanded hours and commercial port status at Wild Horse.
  • Continue to support Amtrak service for Northern Montana.

Workforce Development

An educated workforce is vital to community development.  The Chamber will continue to partner with Havre Public Schools and MSU-Northern to connect business and Education.  A strong and competitive workforce is a must for business to grow, thus the Chamber will continue to provide Education and resources to help develop an effective work force and a good work place.  Northern contributes to the development of economic opportunities that help sustain our population and community infrastructure.

GOAL:  Enhance the quality of workforce 

OBJECTIVES:

  • Develop a business survey related to area workforce issues.
  • Define 2 recommendations for types of training that is needed. 

Work with MSU-Northern and Havre Public Schools to establish educational synergies in the area of workforce development and work to identify current workforce issues.

Tourism Development 

The purpose of this category is to enhance economic development for the community through the promotion of tourism, while sustaining our culture, heritage, environment and the wellbeing of our residents.

Chamber Board Liaison:  Stacy Mantle, Shawn Holden

Tourism

This strategic plan encompasses two tourism entities: Chamber Tourism and Havre TBID.

CO-CHAIR:  Becky Miller, Great Northern Best Western, Mischelle Fisher, AmericInn Motel

GOAL:  To strengthen Havre’s economy by promoting year-round tourism as an economic sustainable industry.

OBJECTIVES:

Tourism

This strategic plan encompasses two tourism entities: Chamber Tourism Committee and the Havre TBID.

The following are the combined goals of the Havre Chamber Tourism Committee & TBID.

  • Expand our marketing potential through the development of marketing partnerships by participating in joint ventures with the MTOT, Central Montana, other tourism organizations, key non-profits and local businesses to promote the Havre area to individuals and group travelers.
  • To create a website and Facebook page that showcases tourism opportunities and experiences. (TBID)
  • Assist local attractions and event organizers, in Havre, with the organizing, growing and marketing of their events to ultimately bring more visitors to Havre. 
  • Capitalize on the Canadian market through the shoulder seasons media campaign.
  • Grow shoulder season markets through effective marketing and promotions, focusing on high-value, low-impact visitors. 
  • Educate residents and business leaders about the local attractions and their economic impact – and the potential we have for tourism.   
  • Explore opportunities to promote the Native American tourism potential. 
  • Work to increase Havre’s cultural, historic and recreational attractions among meeting and convention planners, so they know we can make their gathering happen in Havre.
  • Use the brand (Take A Look Around) developed by TBID wherever possible in all future marketing pieces.
  • Incorporate the Montana Branding Initiative and the Montana Strategic Plan.

Special Projects

Continue to print the area brochureLiving History Weekend

Motel wrap –featuring area attractions & calendarRegional and Canadian Marketing

Website & Facebook updates and maintenanceAttend Medicine Hat show Oct 2017)

Fort Benton BillboardExpand instate marketing

OUTREACH: Executive Director

GOAL: To be active on regional and state boards that directly and indirectly affect tourism in Havre

OBJECTIVES:

  • Continue to serve on the Central Montana Board.
  • Continue to attend TBID meetings and serve as executive director as well as stay connected to state CVB organization and MTOT - pending the day we can once again be a recognized CVB.

TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District) 

Chamber Board Liaison:  Debbie Vandeberg Executive Director of TBID

Chair:  new Chair appointment pending

GOAL:  Work with Chamber’s Tourism Committee to enhance current tourism marketing efforts and explore new area of tourism marketing bringing in revenues to the community.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Develop a marketing plan that generates more visitors to Havre – that stay in TBID properties. 
  • Develop and implement a marketing plan that compliments current tourism marketing efforts.
  • Partner with the MTOT, Central Montana and Havre Chamber and other entities to leverage marketing dollars.
  • Continue to market Havre using the brand developed. 

Education and Training Development

The purpose of this goal is to provide new training and educational opportunities for Chamber members and the Board.

Chamber Board Liaison:  

Chair: Executive Director, Board 

Business 

Assistance for Business Clinic

GOAL: Organize and promote a one-day workshop to businesses providing up-to-date information on employment, tax laws and tax credits. 

OBJECTIVES:

 Training/educational based seminars:

Google Places 

GOAL:  To get all Chamber members listed on Google places.

OBJECTIVE: To provide just another piece to help in marketing their business.

Develop a Chamber App

GOAL: To offer another way to market Havre and Chamber members in tandem with Facebook and the Web Site.

OBJECTIVE:  To provide another Chamber member benefit and to market Havre.( cost is holding up this project.. look to budget in 2018.

Seminars and Workshops

GOAL: Organize and promote workshops for businesses that provide technology information beneficial to them doing business

OBJECTIVES:

  • How to capitalize on social media and other web technology. (Topic ideas include: Creating a website on a Budget, Does your business need Facebook?) Develop a partnership (HPS or MSU-N) to provide a series of workshop on using technology to market businesses.  

Board

GOAL:   To provide information to the board in order for them to have the knowledge for which to continue to drive the Chamber to be the catalyst for business and economic growth.

OJECTIVES:

Review the role of a non-profit. 

Survey membership for future topics and on Chamber direction.

Community Development

The purpose of this goal is to work with Chamber members and the community to identify problems, assets and resources to build a sustainable future for the Havre area. 

Public Awareness Committee

GOAL: Educate members of the Chamber and public about Federal, State, City & County issues that affect Chamber business and members. Communicate the Chamber’s position on these issues to public officials.  Facilitated through the Legislative Committee.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Facilitate and promote meetings on current local issues that impact local business.
  • Work with city on moving forward with the opportunity to have street dining in the downtown area and for the use of sandwich board signs.
  • Work in partnership to educate the public and members on community/business issues that will affect our city, county, education, health care and transportation. 

Chamber Board Liaison: Andrew Brekke- city representative on Board

Outreach—Chamber Projects and Committee Work

GOAL: To organize and facilitate quality community events; to work on projects that help to make our community visually pleasant and inviting with activities that showcase our community.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Continue Havre Festival Days in September.
  • Continue the Holiday Celebration,  Tree Lighting and Santa Run.
  • Facilitate Sounds on the Square and S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Market.
  • Reworking and branding the bi-annual community clean up project to a week long spring event.
  • Continue to partner with  Recycle Hi-Line. (Support and participate in local recycling efforts) by working together –businesses & community-we can create an attractive, clean, safe town.
  • Continue to work  on  city community beatification.
  • Support efforts of Chamber Committee’s with their projects and events.
  • Work in partnership with other community groups (where and when possible).

Outreach and Partnerships

Main Street Group ( Downtown Revitalization Group) 

Goal: To celebrate Havre through projects that promote art, history, beautification and business.  The Chamber will work in partnership with this group

  • 2016 was the completion of the vinyl wrap project and a facelift to our 2 Welcome to Havre entrance signs. 
  • 2017 to include a community mural project.
  • Working with city on move forward for street dining and sandwich board signage in the downtown area.

Outreach- Expand Board to include representatives from selected segments of the community

GOAL: To create better communications with community entities ( Northern –Student Senate, City of Havre and Hill County) 2 position filled in 2016 city and Northern. 2017 fill county. 

OBJECTIVE: Facilitate meetings to move Havre in a positive direction and enhance our business community through:

  • The updating of city ordinances that are currently not user friendly to business

MSU- Northern/Chamber Relations Committee 

GOAL: To promote awareness of the economic impact of Montana State University-Northern to the City of Havre and surrounding area.

OBJECTIVES:

Ideas for conversation…..

  • In partnership with Northern organize downtown spirit rallies for Northern on home game weekends.
  • 2017 place a bike rack on the campus with 6 bikes sponsored by Havre Businesses. 
  • Continue dialog with MSU leadership to keep Northern’s best interests at hand.
  • Look at how to participate in new student orientation.

Chamber Board Liaison: China Bohn -  Northern’s Representative on Board