As always, there’s lots going on in Faribault and we’re glad to be part of the great work as the collective voice of Faribault area businesses.
Your Chamber of Commerce works strategically to ensure your voices are heard where decisions are being made locally as well as at the county, state and federal levels. I’ve heard an occasional challenge as to how the Chamber benefits the non-business interests in town. Well, simply put most everything that supports business supports better quality of life for everyone in Faribault. A great business climate supports more jobs and increased infrastructure investments.
As these two outcomes come together business creates more tax base, and more tax base helps schools and city revenues which makes for better public investment opportunities. So, the direct connection between the strength of our business community and the benefit to our whole town is important. That’s one of the reasons we take our work so seriously here.
To enhance progress in Faribault we have recently undertaken some important projects that are coming to fruition through the efforts of our Vision Task Force (VTF). The Board of Directors established the VTF to formulate and prioritize initiatives that will help lead our community towards goals included in Faribault’s Vision 2040.
Specifically, goals that are important to our members and that we, as the Voice of Business should have a hand in. Afterall, we have a responsibility to be engaged in initiatives to make our great town even better. We should be involved by helping influence and shape policies and projects on behalf of our membership. We want you to know that’s just what we’re doing. Specifically, we’re working on priorities in education, leadership collaboration and downtown Faribault, and we’ve started a conversation on monument/gateway signage.
As the Chamber moves deliberately on the initiatives we continue to advocate for business as well as provide networking, connections and referrals for Faribault businesses.
In the big picture of Faribault efforts, there’s occasionally an awkward project or policy that doesn’t fit perfectly into the conversation I’m sharing with you. A recent housing proposal is an example. While we truly need to add to our housing base in order to keep as much economy as we can, infill rental complex projects can be tough to sell. They can be literally an imperfect fit. Yet from an employer’s perspective the need is real! One of our members told me about employees who moved to Lakeville for better rentals with the intent to commute, and subsequently found jobs there and left Faribault all together.
The need is genuine and so is the awkwardness of inserting the project into an established neighborhood. I think the best outcome would be a progressive plan that would include appropriate use of the infill property as well as an addition that could accommodate the next potential investor. Keeping the families who earn their livings in Faribault inside city limits helps the entire economy and keep our public schools growing and healthy. Let’s see what we can do to make that happen.