Economic Development: Chamber, Officials & Partners Make Progress During Focus Group

Thirty attendees representing local government, officials and the business community met for a focus group on Exceptional Customer Service.

Palm Coast, FL – March 23, 2011 – On Monday, March 14, 2011, thirty attendees (including publisher Toby Tobin) representing local government, officials and the business community met for a focus group on Exceptional Customer Service. The session, which took place at the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, was one of five follow-up items that came out of the two-day Economic Development Summit on March 4 & 5. 
During the Summit, participants were divided into smaller groups to brainstorm key components of a strategic plan for economic development. The Chamber hosted this focus group so participants could hone in on ways to improve customer service between stakeholders, government and businesses. Developing a team approach to better serve new and existing businesses in Flagler County was forefront on the agenda.
According to Lea Stokes, chair of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates, the session encouraged a frank discussion about creating a business friendly, albeit quality of life environment in Flagler County. “I was encouraged to see so much cooperation around the table. Everyone agreed to work together to streamline the process,” said Stokes. “One of the most important outcomes was the creation of a task force to facilitate improved communication and customer service as part of the community’s economic development strategy.”
Palm Coast city manager, Jim Landon agreed. “It is great to have private service providers join Palm Coast in our efforts. We started with our Prosperity 2021 plans to create a business friendly environment that will help our existing business grow and attract new business, while maintaining an attractive community and a great place to live,” he said. “It is important that we work together in these efforts."
When referring to the process, collaboration and consensus have been two often-used words around the Chamber. Neither was missing from the recent focus group. Participants engaged in a roundtable discussion, interactive SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and concluded the session with agreement on next steps. A post-focus group survey will help the Chamber assess the overall effectiveness of the first session, and set priorities for follow up meetings. The first such follow up meeting is scheduled for April 14th.
“Creating a Customer Service Task Force is an important and positive step in the economic development planning process,” said Stokes. “It is important for our organization to lead the way in 2011 and advancing this initiative is one way we can help maintain the momentum.” 

2 replies
  1. George Meegan
    George Meegan says:

    Who’s on first

    The biggest problem is there is to many people to deal with. A strong mayor, would get things done without being in the position of keeping the chamber members happy. All the chamber people are interested in is themselves, through deals that make them money.

    It’s very sad to see Palm Coast go down more every year. Overspending tax payers money on pet projects for chamber members is theft. The outsiiders can see this and don’t want to invest in such a corrupt city.

    Best thing that could happen is the chamber stays out of City business, which is how a strong mayor would run the city.

    Can Landon and change the charter to eliminate the council members, they’re useless.

  2. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to George

    I’ve been a member of the Chamber for years. Your charges against the organization are baseless. The Chamber serves as both an advocate for and resource to the business community. It and its members promote community activities and provide funds to charitable organizations even though some of the members are struggling during these tough times. Most of the Chamber members are also members of other civic organizations.

    As a resident of Palm Coast, you are the beneficiary of the Chambers activities.

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