Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, presented the Partnership’s annual report to the Board of Aldermen during the Board’s October 14th meeting. Lindsey recently celebrated her second anniversary with the Grain Valley Partnership in August.
The Grain Valley Partnership is the result of a merging of the Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce. The organization focuses on networking and professional development, promotion of businesses, business resources to promote growth, and government relations support.
“We want to guide and mentor new businesses as well as providing them with the resources they need. Furthermore, I want new and existing businesses in our community to feel comfortable with asking questions. We have a wealth of people that I can reach out to in finding answers for businesses from start up to exit strategy. I want to be a part of your business journey,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey reported she has started work to become a certified economic development director and highlighted accomplishments and existing challenges for the Grain Valley Partnership. Accomplishments listed by Lindsey included building trust with businesses, creating programs that have added value for partnership members, visibility of the organization within the community, and adding 50 new business partners over the last two years.
“Due to previous struggles and transitions along with the merger of two entities prior to my joining the organization, trust had been lost. Without the trust of the community and business owners, our progress would be stalled. Much work has been done to push out our brand and establish or re-establish relationships within the community,” Lindsey said.
“Programs that have been created offer additional value to partnership businesses. Instead of just having a monthly luncheon that our small businesses may not be able to attend, we have also started doing after hours get togethers and Coffee Connections that have seen great results. Social media has also allowed us to identify who we are and gain exposure to our community.”
Lindsey continued that the Partnership’s relationship with the Missouri Economic Development Council is getting stronger and mentioned the Council has an interest in touring Grain Valley and meeting with city officials. Grain Valley has seen continued population growth and is nestled along one of the busiest interstates in the United States. As the tagline on its website explains, the Partnership bills the city as the “The Gateway of the Kansas City Metro”.
“The Missouri Department of Economic Development serves the entire state, including large communities like Kansas City and St. Louis. If these people are seeing us as someone they want to come meet and a community they want to explore, that means we’re being talked about in Jefferson City. This may be due to promotion through our State Representative Jeff Coleman, as that is a responsibility he has undertaken,” Lindsey said.
Retention of partner businesses and growing the base of business partners were noted as focus areas for the organization.
Lindsey closed her presentation with thanking the board for the current positive rapport between the City of Grain Valley and the Grain Valley Partnership.
“There’s a respect level that is mutual between us and aids approachability for both sides. We understand that we must work together to grow Grain Valley in a beneficial capacity,” Lindsey said.
For additional information on the Grain Valley Partnership and its services for local businesses, visit www.growgrainvalley.org.
In other news, the board unanimously passed the first readings of two ordinances concerning Planning and Zoning. The first ordinance formalizes the appointment, term, roles, and functions of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the appointment of members to the Board of Adjustment. The second ordinance establishes a process for owners of lands adjoining on both sides of a right-of-way or easement to file application for said area to be vacated. The final ordinance establishes an application fee of $250 for vacation of right-of-way and utility easements.
Assistant City Administrator Theresa Osenbaugh also reported on the upcoming Grain Valley Community Campus meeting to be held at Sni-A-Bar Elementary on October 29th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Osenbaugh indicated that Sapp Design’s updated master plan would be shared and city staff would be present to answer questions from community members. Childcare will be provided.
“This campus is the community’s campus. The importance of this meeting is to look at the master site plans and give residents the chance to give feedback and help us decide what is most important to them. This is their chance to give that feedback before we move on to designs,” Osenbaugh said.
Residents who are not able to attend the community meeting are welcome to ask questions and share feedback via www.envisiongrainvalley.com.
Flyers regarding the Community Campus meeting will also be handed out at the city’s Trail or Treat event on Friday, October 25th.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held Monday, October 28th at 7:00pm.
Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, presented her organization’s annual report to the Board of Aldermen on October 14th.
Photo credit: Valley News staff