On the path of redevelopment and progress: The Staples Chamber of Commerce
12 Jul 2022
The city of Staples is located at the junction of U.S. Highway 10 and Minnesota Highway 210. Perched on the border between Todd and Wadena Counties, about 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Staples’ residents enjoy small town living along with all the advantages offered by greater Minnesota.
Staples is well served by transportation services including busy highways and the BNSF Railroad.The Staples Airport provides a self-service fuel pump, private hanger space, and 22 city-owned hangers available for lease.
An active, growing community, the city of Staples is home to award-winning healthcare, Lakewood Health System; a strong school district, Staples-Motley Schools; advanced training opportunities at Central Lakes College; a skilled workforce, and countless recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages.
The Staples Chamber is in a growth period to better serve its members and the community as a whole. Over the past 10 years, the Staples Chamber of Commerce has focused on infrastructure improvements to provide a secure foundation for economic growth. The Staples Chamber is an association of businesspeople designed to promote the interests of the greater Staples area. There is a broad focus on events, community promotion, and business networking and advocacy.
Helping with operations and redevelopment: The Economic Alliance
In January 2022, the Economic Alliance (the economic development corporation that serves Wadena County) entered into a 6-month fee-for-service agreement with the Chamber to assist with its operation and redevelopment. Katie Heppner, Executive Director of the Economic Alliance stated that “The Economic Alliance understands the important role that Chambers of Commerce play in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and wanted to do its part to ensure that our economic development partners remain strong and effective. At the end of our time with the Chamber, we are happy to report that they have an updated organizational and financial structure that is well-suited to meet the current and future needs of businesses in the Staples area. There seems to be a renewed energy in the community and a new generation of leadership has stepped up to ensure the ongoing vitality of the Chamber.”
Serving the Staples community: The Staples Chamber of Commerce
In order to ensure the continued success of the Staples Chamber, Katie Heppner and her team conducted an organizational assessment to determine the current status of the Chamber and the ways in which it can improve. This consisted of a 4-part series of surveys, including the Chamber Board Member Assessment, the LEAP & Discover Staples Board Member Assessment, the Current Chamber Member Survey, and the Former/Non Member Survey. The feedback in these surveys was used to write the assessment, which was then presented to a joint meeting of the LEAP Board of Directors, Discover Staples Board of Directors, and Staples Chamber Board of Directors. Heppner says, “At this meeting, we facilitated a discussion on the future of the Chamber and how these similar organizations can work together to best serve the community. After this discussion, a consensus was reached to have the Chamber operate with a volunteer board of directors and explore partnering with another organization to share a staff person in the future once financial goals were met.”
Todd County Development Corporation (TCDC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit economic development corporation that serves all citizens of Todd County, Minnesota.