Last week, the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce announced it has been meeting with the Plant City Partnership to create a Back to Business initiative.
When communities work together, the limit on what they are able to accomplish rises to greater heights.
The Plant City Partnership, which is comprised of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, the City of Plant City, Plant City Main Street and the Plant City Economic Development Corporation, have spent several weeks meeting and discussing how to aid the recovery effort for the community.
From those frequent meetings, an intuitive was born. Simply titled “Back to Business,” the plan will allow the Plant City Partnership to work with business owners and community leaders in town to “ensure a safe and swift recovery for Plant City.”
“Plant City in talking about how we are special one of the things I love is that we are unique in the sense that many of our agencies work together in great harmony,” Christine Miller, president of the Chamber, said. “I’m referring specifically to what’s known as the Plant City partnership which includes, of course, the Chamber of Commerce, the EDC, Main Street and the city. We work so well together that we have decided to have a Back to Business plan as part of the Plant City Partnership so that our community is getting a unified message. It may look different. So, for example, Jake (Austin) with the EDC tends to work with larger businesses, so he may put out a little bit different information than, say, I would or Main Street. But the information that we are putting out is unified to our area and we are working in great harmony.”
To pull off this task, the group has created three task forces in the respective Reopen, Recover and Reimagine campaigns.
The Reopen campaign will focus on a Business Restart Task Force that will be led by the City of Plant City and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. The task force will work toward “communicating safety recommendations from trusted sources, supporting recommendations from the national and state level and building consumer confidence.”
“This is where we would lean on any medical professionals if we needed some guidance there, but our biggest key would be communicating the safety recommendations from trusted sources,” Miller said. “We don’t need to create them — that’s not our area of expertise — but there’s great information out there on the CDC website and other sources, so we will be pulling that information together and pushing it out through all of our agencies to make sure our businesses in the community are getting their safety guidelines from trusted sources.”
The Recover campaign will feature a Business Support Task Force and will be led by the Plant City EDC and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. This team will focus on “capital opportunities, entrepreneur support, advocating for the needs of the business and workforce retraining.”
“That’s where we will make sure we are focused on capital opportunities, any entrepreneur support as new businesses begin to come online, advocating for the needs for the businesses,” Miller said. “This is where the chamber has really been in the forefront, and of course working with our local resources for workforce training and retraining as employees begin to come back to work.”
The final campaign, Reimagine, will have a Connection Task Force at its fingertips and will be led by Plant City Main Street and the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce. This final group will create a “Buy Local campaign, connect the consumers to the businesses in a streamlined manner and focus on community engagement.”
Miller said it’s time to reimagine what businesses are going to look like as we move forward. She said it isn’t a “normal” or “abnormal,” but rather a desire to be able to do successful business moving forward. That is the primary goal of this task force. It specifically will have a Buy Local campaign led by Jerilyn Rumbarger of Plant City Main Street, will focus on connecting consumers to the local businesses in the community and will heavily highlight community engagement.
“Following along some of the state’s recovery plan… we wanted to be in alignment, but we also wanted to make sure we are working for our region,” Miller said.
Those interested in learning more about the task forces or how to get involved should contact the chamber at 813-754-3707.