The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce's economic development team recently concluded a 13-month, 150-stop tour that gathered financial data from area businessowners as part of its Phoenix Forward initiative, which is also meant to connect businesses to resources and promote the virtues of the area's economy.
The program was especially helpful for younger members of the economic development team who were able to use the collection and analysis process as a learning experience.
“I am able to see where the industries might be divided in their options within their sector through their dialogue in the visits,” Ashley Ferguson, a business research analyst for the chamber, said. “I can see where they might need some assistance, and most importantly, I can see where we have helped. (But) it isn’t all just about collecting the data. It is about being able to paint a picture with it."
Chamber officials said the initiative has already met its goals for business retention and expansion and expects to have held 200 meetings with businesses by the end of the current fiscal year.