Looking back on 50 years of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce’s service to the business community, we reflect on the growth and strength of our business community, and the accolades earned along the way. And while it is easy to look back and celebrate the successes behind us, it imperative that we look forward to the next 50 years, building on the foundation of the past and looking for ways to continue to meet the needs of our business community. With over 1,300 member businesses, we find our business community more diverse than it has ever been. Diversity in the products and services offered, the number of employees, local presence versus national and regional, are just a few examples. As we begin to look at the next 50 years, we ask ourselves and others how we can best benefit all of our members, regardless of business size, and each with different needs. Four words kept coming up as areas that could be utilized by any-sized business. One interesting thing to note is that we found these four words to also parallel the progression of the business cycle. Connections made at the Frisco Chamber tend to evolve with the growth of a business. Smaller, newer businesses are usually looking to connect with customers, while larger businesses may be looking for opportunities to collaborate. Connections are a big part of what we do, whether making a $50 sale or a $5 million deal. Most businesses are looking to grow in some way…to increase market share, add additional staff, or even an additional location. Our hope is that a business’ growth is either a direct or indirect result of something valuable the Frisco Chamber has offered (from meeting with SCORE counselors, having a vendor table at the New Teacher Welcome, or attending educational events such as the HR Summit). Larger businesses grow by investing in education for and engaging their staff with one or more of our programs. “Leaders aren’t born, they are made,” Vince Lombardi once said. Through programs such as Leadership Frisco, committee leadership, and/or serving on the Board of Directors, our businesses can take advantage of the many leadership opportunities we offer. Larger businesses are able to achieve brand recognition as a sponsor, affect change by attending our Leadership Exchange trip or D.C. Fly-in, or simply show support of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce efforts. Businesses of all sizes desire to give back for many reasons and in many ways, whether donating time, resources, or both. From mentoring a student to connecting with nonprofits for volunteer opportunities, the Frisco Chamber plays a role in philanthropy. Some businesses want to give back to the Frisco Chamber to allow us to continue to serve the needs of the community. And while we are helping businesses and employees connect, grow, lead, and give back, all of this would not be possible without our mission, “to protect and promote commerce.” Regardless of where an organization is in the business cycle, one area that applies to EVERY business, really EVERY citizen, is being the one voice for the business community – this will never change. While you are busy running your business (connecting, growing, leading and giving back), we are working, often behind the scenes, with legislators, elected officials, and community partners to keep Frisco a strong, healthy, and vibrant community, one in which we can all be proud of. Here’s to the next 50 years!