Business Attraction Strategy
Detroit Regional Chamber
The Detroit Regional Chamber served as both the region’s chamber and economic development organization, including supporting business attraction efforts for the 11-county region. However, the function of their business attraction program had shifted over the years given changing leadership and organizational resources.
Fourth Economy Consulting was commissioned to develop a strategy to help the Chamber create a more targeted approach to business attraction, as well as to create a clear process, set of protocols, and roles and responsibilities to guide the Chamber’s working relationship with its public partners. Because those roles had not been formally established, and because partners had differing capacity and needs relative to business attraction, the Chamber recognized that the process of formalizing these relationships would require a great deal of engagement and trust-building.
In addition to many discussions with Chamber staff and leadership, the process of developing the protocol and strategy included:
Reviewing 22 existing plans, strategies, or related documents to better understand how they related to business attraction;
Interviewing each public partner and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC);
Participating in 3 public partner meetings, 2 business attraction steering committee meetings, 2 Economic Development Leadership Council meetings, and 2 CEO Advisory Council meetings to receive input and feedback;
Interviewing 7 best-in-class regional economic development organizations; and
Analyzing industry data to identify attraction targets and comparing those with public partner strengths and targets.
Our team developed detailed recommendations for the Chamber around Marketing and Messaging; Outreach; Gap Identification and Response; Data Aggregation and Translation; and Operational Structure and Administration. Together these recommendations were meant to serve as an internal “action plan.”
Furthermore, we developed shared principles and practices to frame the basic commitments of the Chamber’s staff and partner organizations. Together, they represented the desired ethics and professional courtesies intended to shape the business attraction marketing programs of the combined partners as they related specifically to new investment activity in the Detroit region. All partners committed to implementing these protocol and signed the protocol agreement.
While the final deliverables are not public, they are available upon request.