In December 2009, I wrote up a proposal that was to be shared with the Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the proposal was to come up with ideas for what could be done to increase the economic development of Las Vegas and the surrounding area. I never did hear anything about the proposal after I gave it to the Chamber.
I would like to share a brief overview of that proposal with you now.
The Las Vegas San Miguel Chamber of Commerce should be the primary economic development entity in the county. It should be the umbrella organization through which all other economic development organizations function. Each organization has its own mission: EDC, to enhance the economy through proactive planning and development which includes expanding and providing new job opportunities; Main Street de Las Vegas, to unify the historical, commercial corridor and engender pride in the community through partnerships and community collaboration; and Las Vegas First, to promote small business through tourism and increased local patronage.
Working under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce, focus areas to consider are:
1) increasing the tax base by having the City Council expand the city limits;
2) increasing the Chamber of Commerce membership to include nonprofits and other agencies in our area;
3) actively seeking economic development grants focusing on priority areas: water conservation; historic preservation, community revitalization and small business expansion;
4) promoting Las Vegas history;
5) promoting Las Vegas educational institutions;
6) promoting health care and links to health care;
7) categorizing and advertising business by category;
8) promoting services for senior citizens.
I am a concerned citizen and not an expert on economic development by any stretch of the imagination; however, I feel that perhaps this proposal might provide a base of ideas for a strategic plan that the Chamber of Commerce and the other organizations could develop and follow. If these organizations — all three of them — already have a strategic plan to work together to build the economy in our community, perhaps they could share it with the community through the Optic and other media.
Barbara A. Perea Casey