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Strengthen. Grow. Lead. Amplify.

These are strong and descriptive words which connote what the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce intends to do in 2015. More specifically, we will strengthen our community as a place to live, invest and work. This will be accomplished by growing our members' network, knowledge and success. Additionally, we will lead the business community by advocating on its behalf while serving as the voice of business. These ambitious endeavors will amplify our positive impact as we engage additional businesses in our efforts.

Increasingly, Duluth is being recognized as a remarkable and compelling place to live and work. This recognition will expand as we successfully showcase and promote the positive business climate that exists in the Duluth area.

The Chamber remains committed to demonstrating the value of conducting business in Duluth to individuals interested in relocating to, and investing in, Duluth. We will concurrently encourage residents and visitors to embrace the uniqueness, creativity and value provided by our locally owned businesses.

Duluth's recent success is making it possible to grow our business community. We will maximize this momentum by strengthening the connection between young professionals and established business leaders. Our young professionals group, Fuse Duluth, is engaging more young professionals in our educational and networking opportunities. Fuse Duluth is attracting more young professionals to the Chamber and to our community.

Yet, Duluth's upward climb will require our local elected officials to increasingly understand and appreciate the value that businesses bring to our beloved community. The Chamber will serve as the voice of business by providing collaborative leadership and by facilitating interaction among leaders in business, government, education and labor. We will concurrently hold local and state elected officials accountable for their votes on issues that impact business in our area. Additionally, we will maintain a candid and productive interaction with the Duluth school district's leadership regarding the progress being realized in our school classrooms.

If Duluth is to grow, it will require additional housing options for our citizens. The Chamber will continue to embrace a leadership role in coordinating a focused community effort to address the need for additional housing. We will actively engage our members in generating housing options. Additionally, we will continue to monitor the experiences that housing developers encounter when they move projects through the City of Duluth's Planning and Construction Services Department. This includes providing Mayor Don Ness' leadership team insight into these experiences.

Our business community's success is our greater community's success. Business owners and operators can lift up our community one job at a time and one investment at a time. Let us join together in a shared effort to strengthen and grow our community. The Chamber is marshalling our resources in a spirited effort to assist in leading and amplifying this community-building.

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751 or

David Ross

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.