The Steamboat Springs Chamber is a nonprofit, community membership organization that supports economic vitality in Routt County. But what exactly is economic vitality and what is the tangible work being done to do this?

Economic vitality is how we can create a place where anyone can live and thrive. It’s how we can ensure locals can have quality jobs, start a business, buy a home, start a family and live a fulfilled life.

The Chamber’s mission is economic vitality and two ways we support it is through our membership and programming. This work is initiative-based. This means we bring community members together many times throughout each year to hear what priorities and opportunities are facing them. These members include business owners, employees, young professionals, elected officials, nonprofits and other community groups.

A significant part of this work is developing programs focused on these initiatives: advocacy, talent retention and attraction, attainable housing, professional development, progressive workplace and equity.

Our team produces 50-plus programs and events per year that address the initiatives above.

For the Business Education Series, we brought in qualified speakers and produced programs covering topics such as how to work with a multi-generational workforce, having tough conversations and creating policies that foster workplace retention. Along with these, we hosted a grant-writing series highlighting how to write a successful grant, what opportunities are out there and how to manage grant projects.

We also host large-scale summits including Economic Summit, DEI Summit and Thrive Together Women’s Leadership Summit, to make meaningful impacts in the lives of community members. Each of these summits allows businesses and their employees to engage with peers through personal and professional development sessions and workshops.

Advocacy continues to be a top priority through all this work to ensure we are hearing our community’s policy needs. The programs we host allow businesses and employees to engage with elected officials, both at the local and state level. We want to create opportunities where people are educated on local issues and well-informed to make the best decisions for their families and businesses. To support our advocacy efforts, it’s important our members are engaged in the political process. Some great examples of this work are our annual State of the City and County webinar, hosting a visit from Secretary of State Jenna Griswold and facilitating a business visit with Congressman Joe Neguse.

Other ways we are working to address community challenges include the SALA Healthcare Program, an insurance alternative program offered to businesses and their employees, as well as our Routt to Home program, which helps create a path to home ownership for the local workforce.

Doing initiative-based work isn’t easy, but we know how important it is. We are working to create long-term change based on business and community needs so we don’t always see immediate results of our work. Our value to the community is seen when one more business can hire an employee with quality wages and competitive benefits; when we see businesses able to retain employees and when new business owners successfully pass the two-year mark; or when we see a young professional able to purchase their first home.

We encourage you to look at our work and ask questions. If you have ideas on new programs or membership initiatives we can bring to the Yampa Valley, please share them. And if you are a business owner or part of the local workforce, please let us know how we can best support you. Read on the Pilot website >>