By Casey Steinbacher

The new millennium has ushered in fast and furious changes to our economy and the way in which we conduct business. Companies no longer can survive operating as they always have in the past.

Given that chambers of commerce exist to support the local business community, we have had to change with you. And so we have. Over the past four years, we have redefined what a chamber is and what a chamber does. Our redesigned website is a part of that process.

You’ll notice the site navigation contains action words: Join, Advocate, Connect, Thrive, Relocate. We did this on purpose. Making a community better and stronger can only be done through action.

That’s why in the “Thrive” and “Relocate” sections, you’ll see that we work with organizations to help them relocate their companies and their people to Durham. We’re proud to say that during these difficult economic times, Durham has attracted more than $2.28 billion in economic development growth, resulting in more than 6,000 new jobs.

Speaking of jobs, to continually attract new organizations to the area, we need a pipeline of talent to fill the positions created. We have responded by working with grades K through 12, as well as local colleges and universities to help ensure that they offer educational experiences which will meet the demands of local employers.

Another way regions grow is to attract and encourage entrepreneurial activity. Together, with other organizations in downtown Durham, we have begun that process with our highly successful Bull City Start up Stampede. Yes, we believe we have the skills and resources to be another Silicon Valley or Austin, Texas and we’re excited to be a part of leading Durham in that direction!

Of course, we recognize that businesses don’t operate in a vacuum. They are subject to laws and regulations, some of which are business friendly and some of which are not. We “Advocate” on your behalf at the federal, state and local levels to make the governmental hurdles you often have to jump just a little bit easier to take.

Finally, our community only grows if the businesses within it grow. So if you are not currently a member of the Chamber, “Join” and if you are a member, let us help you “Connect”.

Our business is your business. Allow us to partner in your success!