The Billings Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff proudly share the Chamber’s mission and vision to nurture a healthy business climate, community, and overall quality of life for area residents. At the same time, our priorities focus on offering Chamber members venues for continued growth and success.
If 2020-2021 was a time of discovery, innovation and creativity driven by necessity due to changes in consumer behavior from COVID, the next 12 months is shaping up to be a year of embracing what was learned and excelling in “the new norm.” In large part it’s a year of getting back to basics, figuring out what those new “basics” consist of, and getting back to business with new consumer demands and expectations. For the Chamber, the 2022 Fiscal Year will be focused on securing what is essential for the growth and economic success of our community. These priorities require immediacy, investment and allocation of significant Chamber resources.
Our 2021 and Beyond Strategic Priorities:
A Safer Billings – The safety of our residents, workforce, and visitors directly impacts businesses and our economy: from talent attraction limitations to hard costs in security, repairs, lost product and loss of customers and non-resident visitors. There are many contributing factors and potential solutions to crime and safety including addressing mental health and addiction, law enforcement, incarceration, and environmental design. A business survey conducted by the Chamber in May 2021 shows 89% of member-businesses have been directly impacted by crime in the past 12 months. With violent crime citywide growing by over 70% this year (and homicides increasing by over 300%), and a significant uptick in property crime, it is time we as a community invest in a solutions-based safety levy to address this issue at its roots. In 2021 we will pass a solutions-based public safety mill levy; encourage the County to address jail expansion; and conduct additional CPTED evaluations.
Workforce Development – Business leaders need support in growing and cultivating their workforce. To develop a stronger workforce of the future the Chamber will be enhancing our emerging leaders network (NextGEN), investing more time and resources in a sustainable community diversity, equity and inclusion effort focused on the workplace, and enhancing our Leadership Billings and Women’s Network programs.
Building Our Quality Place – Billings offers good jobs in energy, finance, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality and other industries. To retain residents and lure families to these jobs we can build a stronger quality of place by focusing on affordable housing and community amenities. Advancing our trail system by creating the Marathon Loop and continuing work on Safe Routes to School, our parks (like Coulson along the Yellowstone River and others), and downtown catalytic projects will help retain and recruit our workforce of tomorrow.
Policy and People Matter – Many of the decisions that move our community forward require support from our City Council. Therefore it is import we are all engaged in the process of selecting representatives to serve us who are business friendly and community minded. 89% of our business-members stated that it is important for the Chamber to help get business friendly candidates elected to public office. Elections matter, and the Chamber will interview candidates and provide the business community with information on where they stand on issues important to our economy.
Organizationally, the Chamber aligns its resources to meet current demands, while understanding that demands of tomorrow may look different from today. Our leadership and decision making process is both proactive and responsive, and unapologetically decisive, when difficult decisions must be made for the good of our business environment and community.
The Billings Chamber does not exist to sell memberships, services, and seats. We exist to move Billings forward and help your business grow.
Strategic Objectives 2021
Advance Quality of Place
- Click here to learn more about Crime Prevention Through Environment Design (CPTED)
Grow Workforce and Develop Leaders
- Click here for the 2020 State of the Workforce Report (BillingsWORKS)
Lead Visitor Growth
- Click here for the Visit Billings tourism website
- Click here for the Visit Southeast Montana tourism website
Influence Public Policy
- Click here for the Public Policy website
Spark Success in Members
- Click here for Chamber member benefits and networking opportunities
- Click here for ways to get involved with your Chamber
Exceed Organizational Expectations
Our Mission: To develop a strong business climate and vibrant economy by serving the community in a leadership role thereby enhancing the quality of life.
Our Vision: To achieve excellence in community leadership and growth.
Advocate. Connect. Grow. The Billings Chamber represents our 1,100 members who employ 48,000 people. We help you grow your bottom line by connecting you to opportunities and advocating for your business and our community.
Our Team Promise: Our brand speaks loudly of change, energy, and excitement. As a team we will consistently deliver the wow factor; innovative ideas, knowledge, integrity, leadership, and laughter. We’re proud of what we do and where we live. Let’s SHOUT it out!
- Support business needs including leading local, state, and federal legislative issues impacting business and our quality of life;
- Promote Billings as a preferred destination for visitors, business travelers, and sporting events;
- Provide opportunities for our membership relating to education, leadership development, networking, and value added services.
The Billings Chamber received the highest award that a chamber can receive from the United States Chamber of Commerce: 5-Star Accreditation. Less than 1% of the 3,000 chambers in the U.S. have this designation. The Chamber was recognized as the Chamber of the Year in 2015 by the Association for Chamber of Commerce Executives. We are a non-profit 501(c)6 representing and serving 1,200 members who employ more than 50,000 people. Your Board consists of community leaders representing small and large businesses and diverse business interests. Your staff consists of 15 professionals who are enthused, engaged in the community, and full of great ideas and energy. The Chamber has strategic management agreements to further the regional travel industry with the Montana Office of Tourism (lodging tax); Billings Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID); and Visit Southeast Montana Tourism (SEMT).
Billings enjoys a large trade area (500,000 square mile retail trade area covering four states) with a diverse economy (healthcare, agriculture, tourism, natural resources). Educational opportunities (Montana State University Billings, Rocky Mountain College, a strong K-12 system) are abundant as are our recreational and scenic surroundings. Residents and visitors alike enjoy “River to the Rims” beauty (from Swords Rimrock Park to the Yellowstone River), cultural attractions (Yellowstone Art Museum, Western Heritage Center, ZooMontana), and an increasingly vibrant downtown (the heart of our community). A short drive finds international icons of beauty, heritage, and the old west (Pompey’s Pillar, Yellowstone National Park, Little Bighorn Battlefield). Employers tout a strong employee work ethic, short commute, and satisfied workforce.
As with any community on the move, Billings faces challenges such as: public safety, air service, workforce (2.6% unemployment; skills gap, housing, aging population), being an urban area in a rural state/region, taxing structure equality, and lack of (or aging) facilities (event space, attractions, sports, infrastructure).
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO OUR MEMBERS (Source: Hight Consulting; Dr. Larry Swanson)
- The quality of our community
- The quality of our workforce
- The quality of our surrounding environment