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The Napa Chamber of Commerce and its community partners are committed to forging a new economy that benefits every member of the community at large.

Our mission is clear: Together, we will lead the Napa Valley region to become the most economically prosperous region — and the most desirable place to live and work — in the North Bay.

To enable us to achieve that goal, the Chamber is developing a strategic plan to revitalize efforts on business expansion and retention and accelerate economic development throughout Napa County. Three objectives will guide the Napa Chamber of Commerce’s efforts: to focus on economic development, define our geographic focus and align resources with priorities. The strategic plan will be a combination of public and private partnerships; therefore, the Chamber will be soliciting and welcoming input from its partners and its community stakeholders as it moves through the various stages of development.

Target Efforts, Identify Chamber Priorities and Align Resources with Goals

Moving forward, the Chamber will more strategically allocate staff, time and money so our level of involvement is aligned with our priorities. The Strategic Plan will establish priorities for spending, suggest the allocation of resources for approved projects, and outline a process for determining the Chamber’s proper role in both ongoing and new matters.

The Economic Strategic Plan in Brief

The Chamber’s Sustainable Economic Development Strategic Plan for Prosperity and Innovation outlines 10 priorities, each with specific goals tied to economic development and innovation, with measures that hold us accountable for results. The Strategic Plan includes specific strategic and operational indicators — primarily focused on the Napa region’s gross domestic product (GDP), job growth and quality of life — that we will use to track implementation of the strategic plan. Along with these benchmarks the plan will be guided by the Chamber’s Five Year Vision statement, and the Chamber will monitor and report on progress regularly.

The 10 priorities are:

1. Lead economic development. Lead economic development for the Napa region through collaboration with local city and county economic development agencies to further economic growth.

 

 

2. Drive improvements in public education. Drive development of a strategy and initiatives to improve public education because education is critical to developing a strong regional workforce that supports economic prosperity. The initial focus will be on the Napa Valley Unified School district.

3. Influence public policy. Support and promote public policies that improve the business environment to help boost economic prosperity. Be a recognized leader and dominant voice for public policy issues affecting businesses in the Napa region, such as advocating for business-friendly laws, regulations that allow companies to grow and thrive, affordable housing and a tax structure that encourages corporate relocations. Drive significant, measurable progress on 100 percent of the items included in the Chamber’s annual public policy agenda. Respond strategically to new issues as they arise.

4. Catalyze and advocate for regional partnerships. Strengthen and formalize collaboration with key organizations to address regional issues. Identify and address existing performance gaps that have a material effect on the North Bay Area region’s economic prosperity. As each gap is uncovered, the Chamber will work with our partners and create a plan — including detailed goals and targets — to address it.

5. Provide value to members. Offer programs and opportunities of value to members and ensure that members receive an excellent high-quality experience. (The objective of adding value for members is included in all categories).

a. Expand membership representation

b. Ensure a positive experience and build participation

c. Demonstrate value by increasing value-based offering to members

d. Focus on communication

e. Track performance

f. Offer an enhanced network building opportunities

g. Provide a members-only website

6. Drive innovation. Work with our regional partners in promoting technology based business, clean-tech industry startups, and technology companies that support the region’s wine industries. Create the region’s first Nonprofit Innovation Center where business concepts can become a reality. Innovative nonprofits like Trellis Napa Valley and Arts Council Napa Valley will be key partners.

7. Competitive Assessment. The Competitive Assessment report will include analysis of a combination of factors that determine a community’s competitiveness as a place of business for entrepreneurship and for existing,

 

 

expanding and relocating companies. The key findings and recommendations of the reports will inform the development of the Chamber’s Economic Strategic Plan.

8. Innovation Score Card. The analysis in the Innovation Score Card will include quantitative and qualitative research to determine the most opportunistic business sectors for the Napa Valley region. The analysis will provide specific targets and a needs assessment on future sectors for the region to pursue.

 

9. Marketing Assessment. The Marketing Assessment Report will include a thorough review and analysis of local marketing efforts and will be used as the basis to develop recommendations for increasing awareness and investment utilizing best-practice methodologies and communication strategies

10. Economic Strategic Plan strategy. The preceding components will lead to the development of the Economic Strategic Plan strategy itself. The plan will confirm and enhance existing programs and efforts and provide recommendations for developing the capacity necessary to be competitive in today’s economy.

 

The final and perhaps most important step in this process involves centering on “how” the strategy will be put into practice. Included will be a specific “game plan” created to address each goal in the strategy. Benchmarks and measures will be assigned and a five-year priority action plan will be recommended. The Implementation Plan will enable local stakeholders to successfully activate the Economic Strategic Plan recommendations.

We look forward to your participation as move forward with this exciting endeavor. Together, we can forge a new economy that will make a difference for all of us who live and work in Napa Valley.

 

Chris Messina, IOM, ACE, is President & CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce CEO@NapaChamber.com