Chamber RVA: Empowering Small Businesses for Success

Brian Anderson

Welcome to another episode of The RVA Small Business Show with your host Cory Mosley. In today’s segment, we are joined by Brian Anderson, President & CEO of ChamberRVA.

In the greater Richmond Region, one of the biggest champions for your business is ChamberRVA. The team at ChamberRVA are change agents rallying everyday to do the hard things that will create a more connected, prosperous, healthy and equitable community.

Our first mission was to be the voice of business. -Brian Anderson

The Role of ChamberRVA in Regional Development

ChamberRVA isn’t just about Richmond; it’s about the entire region. With a territory that spans nine jurisdictions, ChamberRVA’s mission is to break down barriers and foster collaboration across municipal lines. “We’re working on making sure how do the nine work together to compete with other regions around the country,” says Brian. It’s a vision that sees the region not as a collection of individual entities but as a cohesive, competitive player on the national stage.

Economic Growth: A Thriving Richmond

Growth is synonymous with thriving, and Richmond is no exception. But it’s not just about growing; it’s about growing right. As Anderson puts it, “We’re not growing at the rate of a Charlotte or Raleigh…but we’re growing.” This growth is intentional, aimed at attracting new companies and ensuring that existing ones find Richmond too valuable to leave. The city’s moderate climate, strategic location on the Eastern Seaboard, and rich tapestry of arts and culture are part of a “full toolbox” that ChamberRVA leverages to shape the city’s present and future.

Workforce Development: The Talent Pathways Initiative

But what about the workforce? Do we have the people to match the businesses? “Statistically, no,” admits Brian. However, Chamber RVA is addressing this head-on with initiatives like the Talent Pathways, which aims to guide students from an early age toward in-demand jobs. This proactive approach seeks to eliminate the guesswork and financial burden of finding a career path, aligning education with the real-time needs of the marketplace.

Advocacy: The Voice of Business

Advocacy is at the core of Chamber RVA’s mission. The organization works tirelessly at the state, local, and federal levels to promote pro-business policies. “We do that on behalf of you,” Brian assures. This advocacy ensures that businesses can focus on what they do best, leaving the policy work to a dedicated champion.

Equity and Economic Mobility: A Vision for the Future

Equity is not just a buzzword for ChamberRVA; it’s a call to action. The goal is clear: to make Richmond the most economically equitable place in the country. By ensuring that every individual, regardless of background, has access to opportunities, ChamberRVA is laying the groundwork for a community where the American dream isn’t just alive but achievable for all.

Is Chamber RVA Right for Your Business?

For small business owners or those with side ventures, ChamberRVA may seem like a Goliath out of reach. Yet, Brian reassures that the Chamber is for everyone. “Tell me what you want to accomplish in our relationship and how you are a business in this locality, and we’ll help you get there.” It’s an invitation to be part of a larger story, where every business, no matter its size, can find support, visibility, and a platform to grow.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Regional Collaboration: Embrace a regional approach to economic development, understanding that collective success is achieved through cross-jurisdictional teamwork.
  2. Intentional Growth: Focus on strategic growth that not only attracts new businesses but also makes the region indispensable to existing ones.
  3. Proactive Workforce Development: Invest in initiatives like Talent Pathways to align education with employment, creating a ready and capable workforce.
  4. Advocacy as a Service: Leverage the advocacy efforts of organizations like ChamberRVA to navigate policies and maintain a pro-business environment.
  5. Inclusivity in Prosperity: Commit to equity and economic mobility, ensuring that every member of the community can contribute to and benefit from the region’s prosperity.

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