Chamber Releases First BR&E Annual Report

Apr 24, 2020
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is releasing its first business retention and expansion (BR&E) annual report, breaking down the 400 visits its Economic Development team made to businesses in the Valley in 2019.


BR&E
The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber is releasing its first business retention and expansion (BR&E) annual report, breaking down the 400 visits its Economic Development team made to businesses in the Valley in 2019.


During each visit, the team spent time meeting with leaders, learning about current market impacts and operational challenges and providing resources to meet each individual company’s needs.

Chamber COO Sarah Boyarko said, “Since more than 80 percent of a community’s annual investment is generated by existing companies, the Chamber’s efforts to support them are key to the long-term health and growth of the region’s economy. We have met with thousands of businesses over the past 25+ years, and since this has always been a core part of our work, we wanted to share a summary of our most recent efforts.”

The annual report offers an industry breakdown of the visits completed by the team last year, focusing on the Valley’s driver industries with an emphasis on manufacturing and other key industries, such as logistics, warehousing and wholesale trade.

The report also highlights top factors driving growth and top challenges inhibiting future growth in our market. In 2019, the top factors driving growth were identified by the team as new and expanding markets and new products and technology. The top two factors inhibiting growth were workforce concerns, including quality and availability, and inadequate facility capacity.

The insights gleaned inform the Chamber’s strategy as we create and direct programs and resources to meet company needs.

Accuform Manufacturing is just one example among the hundreds of companies visited that has found the Chamber’s services to be invaluable. President Bob Hockenberry noted that, “We have seen great benefit over the years from our visits with the Chamber. Through these regular updates and the relationship we’ve developed with the Economic Development team, we’ve been able to access resources for many different needs, such as training dollars to support our workforce, technical assistance to develop our internal systems, business-to-business introductions and more.”

While the Chamber has had to pause in-person BR&E visits with companies due to the COVID crisis, the team continues to reach out through virtual meetings and phone calls to ensure their needs are still being met.