What Now?

Now that our 2011 Annual Banquet is wrapped up (a recap here if you’re interested) and our annual planning efforts are complete, we’re forging ahead with new 2012 priorities. What are those you say?

Valley Cinema Renovation Project

First stages of Valley Cinema Renovation

First, we’re pushing ahead with a major marketing effort for our community and economic development campaign. Over the past three years we improved our marketing and communications infrastructure with major investments in two new websites ( and, the 3rd Edition of our ESCAPE Travel Guide, and a totally new social media brand on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. We want to shout from the hilltops about all the career opportunities, the subtle yet powerful natural beauty of the Loup Valley and the superior way of life out here. And we’re ready to make the investments to do so.

Second, we’re pushing forward with an awareness campaign of the City of Ord’s municipal option economic development program, better known as our sales tax program for economic development. Our program income for 2011 was $430,000 with $180,000 of repayment income that provided of $610,000 for Valley County economic development efforts. These funds have been used for direct business loans, site and infrastructure development, community housing, community promotions and program administration costs (to read more, visit here). Our goal is to provide a clear understanding of how this program has financed our economic turnaround. Local taxpayers have a right to understand how these funds are being invested. They also deserve an explanation that their local shopping habits can directly support accelerated community betterment. The more that is spent in our area, the more that can be reinvested with the sales tax program.

16th Street Salon Ribbon Cutting

16th Street Salon Ribbon Cutting

Third, we will become much more aggressive with new business recruitment to the community than in the past. I believe 2012 will see several new business development activities that will create more jobs, more investment and an increase in the tax base for the benefit of our area.

Finally, you will see the Chamber push forth with a serious integration plan for our eCommerce platform, This new resource will provide our members, at no cost, a direct to market eCommerce solution to sell products and services online. Expect to see that site launch this spring.

2012 will be a big year for us. 2011 certainly was and I am incredible excited to continue the great work in service to the citizens of Valley County. Here’s to continued success – cheers!

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