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The City Journals

A New Way of Doing Business

Sep 10, 2015 02:23PM ● By Bryan Scott

A Meeting

By Peri Kinder

After looking at several options and talking with chamber of commerce leaders in neighboring communities, the Cottonwood Heights City Council decided to take the city’s business community in a different direction.

The Cottonwood Heights Business Association was created after city officials held meetings with business owners to determine what programs and events would best serve local needs. A board of directors was selected to lead the group, with Ron Benson elected to serve as CHBA chairperson and Melody Wagstaff chosen to serve as vice-chair. 

“As a business owner, I feel it’s important to help improve and make a difference in my community,” Benson said. “You need to be willing to get involved in order to make change—and change is good. Most cities have a chamber of commerce; the CHBA is a new way of thinking, bringing business owners together in an open forum of communication between city officials, business owners and residents.”

Membership in the CHBA is free and open to any business licensed through Cottonwood Heights. Events include networking activities, workshops, brainstorming sessions and monthly get-togethers held at no cost to CHBA members.

The mission of the business association is to promote economic development by supporting the business owners in the city. It serves as an advocate for success by providing a forum for members to share their best practices, facilitate networking and education, and create partnerships within the community.

Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development director Brian Berndt said the city benefits when businesses do well, and it’s worth the time and cost to create a program that assists with business retention, promotion and expansion.

“Everyone’s voice is important when defining and shaping a community,” Berndt said. “Businesses offer a unique perspective that allows us the opportunity to expand our focus. Our intention is to keep business owners apprised of important, constantly-changing issues and trends within the local marketplace.”

CHBA board members have been proactive in getting the word out, and the group’s social media sites on Twitter (@CHBABiz) and Facebook are gathering new followers. The sites share info about Cottonwood Heights businesses, helping residents know what types of services are offered in the city.

To get involved with the CHBA, or for more information, contact [email protected] or 801-944-7067.

“We want to build a strong association by representing and supporting our 1,500 businesses in the city. We can grow our businesses by taking steps to bring recognition to our city and the opportunities we have for business owners to get involved in community activities,” Benson said. 

“If our community prospers and grows, so do our businesses. The CHBA is a way for us to work with each other and with city officials to create ideas that will generate growth.”