Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce Strategic Plan 2015 - 2017

Board Approved March 3, 2015



The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce strives to be the lead advocate for business, serve as the primary catalyst for a vibrant economy that stimulates and retains jobs, and be the champion to create strong communities for the Cape Girardeau region, resulting in an enhanced quality of life. 


We will cultivate and sustain meaningful relationships with our members, the business community at large, and communities throughout the Cape Girardeau region.  The board, staff, and volunteers will commit time and resources toward efforts that enable our members to be informed, connected, and responsive to economic trends.  Their success is our success.  Our organization will proudly promote the free enterprise system, lead conversations, and share in the action plans developed with our partners to propel our region forward in the areas of economic growth, public policy, talent development, and quality of life strategies. 


The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce values…

  • Integrity - To be an effective voice of business we must earn and retain the trust built with all of our stakeholders.  
  • Service - To achieve the greater good and represent a strong business community requires the value of service.  Through the work of dedicated servant leaders and a staff committed to a high level of customer service, we will accomplish our mission and vision.
  • Leadership - To be a champion for causes that empower our stakeholders and build value for the members we serve, the organization will value its staff of leaders through support of ongoing education and professional development.  
  • Respect - Respect for one another is crucial in developing meaningful relationships.  We are in the people business.
  • Vision - To set our organization apart from others serving similar purposes we are never satisfied with the status quo.
  • Courage - When our stance is not popular, or is in the minority, our courage will strengthen our resolve in advocating for what we believe is in the best interest of the membership.
    Perseverance - Accomplishment of our goals requires patience and resolve, even though ultimate success may not be immediate.
  • Teamwork - Great things are achieved when fully committed, multi-talented people work together.  It is the cornerstone of our success.
Membership Value

Offer an enhanced member-to-member/member-to-client promotion campaign by January 1, 2016.


 Purpose: The success of our members is core to the Chamber's purpose.  Providing frequent opportunities to make new connections helps our members grow their business and network, thereby adding value to their membership.


 How does this help us accomplish our Mission?  Accomplishing this goal carries out our priorities to lead and serve our member businesses and organizations.


How will we measure success?

  • Campaign completed and promoted to Cape Chamber membership;
  •  Chamber receives a combined ranking of 80% (Excellent/Good) in Business Services from members participating in the 3-Minute Survey;
  • Surveys of members participating in campaign denote an increase in business or connections because of program participation.
New Image

The Chamber will undergo a rebranding process in 2016 with a roll out date on January 1, 2017.

Purpose:  Capitalizing on the Chamber's 100th anniversary in 2017, as well as working toward and celebrating continued growth an success throughout the service region, a rebranding will be accomplished through the following strategies:

  • This new brand image will serve to help position the Chamber as a vital resource, partner and leader in the growth and development of business throughout the Cape Girardeau service area.  This will be executed with a new logo (identity), brand guide and messaging roll out by January 1, 2017;
  • Explore the feasibility of a new website that will serve as a launching pad for membership value, entrepreneurship, business development, workforce development and opportunities, and overall communication about the Chamber's role in the communities they serve.  New branding, identity and messaging will be incorporated into the overall website design to create brand continuity.  Explore the feasibility of the website by February, 2016 with a potential roll out by January 1, 2017;
  • In an effort to relate/reach across generations by effectively communicating via a variety of platforms, the Chamber will incorporate the new identity and brand into the website redesign, on all utilized social media platforms, email signatures, and all other online and collateral tools currently displaying the existing brand identity. Messaging would be developed around the brand identity to help "tell the story" of the Chamber's new image/identity, help position it effectively with current and new audiences, and support positive influence over the Chamber's perceived member and community value position. This would be an ongoing process with roll out by January 1, 2017.

How does this help accomplish our mission?  Creating strong communities has multiple meanings within our mission statement; first and foremost our membership community is paramount. A strong branded identity assists in communicating our purpose and relevance, educates and empowers our members to be a part of the Chamber community, and emboldens our members to be stronger entities within the communities they serve.

How will we measure success?

  • Rebranding concept and message completed to the satisfaction of Chamber Board of Directors and Staff;
  • Website re-designed and launched ahead of schedule;
  • New image embraced by the membership, determined by satisfaction surveys with 60%+ combined ranking of excellent and good.
Business Development

The Chamber’s business retention program will annually interview 150 business leaders from the top five industries by jobs and the top five industry clusters with the most potential for future growth.

Purpose – More than 75% of new jobs are created by existing businesses, thus being significant potential for future job growth.
How does this help accomplish our mission? Taking a more active role in member and business development accomplishes our mission in two different arenas, to lead and serve. First, to be lead advocate for businesses the Chamber must have a better understanding of their goals, needs and barriers to growth.  Second, to serve as the primary catalyst for a vibrant economy relates to the very assistance, connections, and resources the Chamber can provide to its members and the business community at large.
How will we measure success? 

  • At least 50 new jobs created each year for the next three years;
  • Existing business calls will be tallied on a quarterly basis and totals annually documented in December of each year;
  • An agreed upon set of processes and follow-up procedures will be established by April 1, 2015;
  • Business trends, intelligence, and economic indicators for the area will be published and presented to the Chamber’s Board of Directors starting July, 2015 and quarterly thereafter.  

Strengthening Retail Position:  Expand the area's retail position by July 1, 2016.  To be accomplished by:

  • Currently a competitive advantage exists with online retailers, thus putting area bricks and mortar retailers at a disadvantage. A Federal e-fairness advocacy effort will be implemented by May 1, 2015;
  •  Commission and publish a retail market analysis for the Cape Girardeau-Jackson MO-IL MSA, with the support of the Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET by July 1, 2015;
  • In cooperation with the owners of West Park Mall and our development partners collectively, endorse a redevelopment strategy for West Park Mall by January 1, 2016;
  • Recruit a new big box retailer by July 1, 2016.

Purpose - Cape Girardeau has long enjoyed being the retail hub for the region. However, with the convenience of online shopping and recent fluctuations within the retail sector of the national economy, additional focused efforts on our position is needed.

How does this help accomplish our mission?

  •  Positive influence of Missouri’s Congressional Delegation on Federal E-fairness legislation;
  •  Retail market analysis published by July 1, 2015;
  • A redevelopment plan established by the ownership of West Park Mall;
  • New entry in the market by at least two national retailers;
  • Collection of sales tax for Cape Girardeau County reflects 2%+ in annual growth.
Talent Attraction Campaign

The Chamber will coordinate the creation of a campaign that assists area recruiters with 'selling' our area to prospective candidates by July 1, 2017.


Purpose - The recruitment of specialized talent has been identified from retention visits with major employers by Human Resource professionals and recruiters. Talent attraction and retention is becoming more and more challenging for regional companies competing with larger markets across the United States.


 How does this help accomplish our mission? Serving as a resource to Human Resource professionals and recruiters of area employers helps them communicate the many strengths and opportunities offered in the region.  The campaign will also assist our organization as well as partner organizations in the promotion of the quality of life we enjoy here to prospective businesses and citizens seeking to relocate to the region.


 How we will measure success?

  •  Completion of talent attraction campaign to the satisfaction of Chamber staff,
  •  Survey results from regional HR professionals and recruiters indicate a combined score of Excellent/Good of more than 70%+ of the campaign effectiveness to ‘sell’ our area to candidates considering relocation to the Cape Girardeau region.