CHAMBERBASTROPOFCOMMERCE 2022-2024 STRATEGIC PLAN
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 2
o 2000 –57,733
Successfulstrategic planning requires accurateappraisal ofbothstrengths andchallenges.Identifying strengthsandhonestassessmentofchallengescanprovideleveragedopportunitiestoimprovestrategic position.
o April 2010 -74,171,anincreaseof28%from2000.
Population – PertheUSCensusBureau,theBastropCountypopulationhassteadilyincreasedover thelasttwentyyears,makingitoneofthefastestgrowingareasinCentralTexas.
Proximity – BastropislocatednearthecenterofBastropCountyalongthelowerColoradoRiver andholdstheCountyseat.Thetowniscentrallylocatedwithintheheartofthe“TexasTriangle”and offerseasyaccesstoHouston,SanAntonioandDallas/FortWorth.Austinisjust30milesnorthwest ofBastrop.
Transportation – Bastropsitsattheintersectionofthreemajordividedhighways:SH121,71and 95. Thesignificantregionalnorth-southarterySH130Tollwayisjust20milesfromthecenterof town. Ongoing investment in the expansion and improvements of SH 71 is serving to further improvemobility.RapidlyexpandingAustin-BergstromInternationalAirportisonly22milesfrom downtown,andtheCountyisfurtherservedbySmithvilleCrawfordMunicipalAirport.
STRATEGIC PLAN 2022 -
Education – Thereare10collegeswithin50milesofBastrop,thenearestbeingAustinCommunity Collegeabout27milesaway.ACCprovidesnightandcontinuingeducationclassesatBastropHigh School and partners with the Bastrop Independent School District to provide dual-credit opportunitiesatmultiplecampuses.GraduatesofBISD’sColoradoRiverCollegiateAcademyare awardedhighschooldiplomasimultaneouslywitha2-yeardegreefromACC.OfCountyresidents 25yearsorolder,about86%havegraduatedfromhighschoolandabout21%haveabachelor’s
o April 2020 - 97,216,anincreaseofover31%fromApril2010.
o July 2021 - 102,058,anincreaseofover5%fromApril2020.
When compared to similarly-sized communities the Bastrop County area has many clear advantages, including:
Our Strengths, Challenges & Opportunities
Brand –TheBastropareahasbeenacentralgatheringplacesinceitsfirstsettlementin1804.With over130historicalsites,Bastropearnsitstitleof“MostHistoricSmallTowninTexas.”Abeautifully tranquilsettingalongtheColoradoRiveramidthenaturalbeautyofCentralTexas’LostPinesecoregion,Bastrop’ssettingisidentifiedasbeinginthe“HeartoftheLostPines.”
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 3
Quality of Life – CountyresidentsenjoythehistoriccharmofdowntownBastrop,aflourishing artscommunitywithculturalattractions,andaretailhubwhichincludesbothnationalandlocal stores.TheLostPinesForestandextensiveColoradoRiverfrontageoffershiking,kayaking, boating,fishingandcampingopportunities.Bastrop’sannualPatrioticFestivalandother communityeventsprovidefoodandentertainmentforresidentsandvisitors.
Business Climate –Thecurrentlocalregulatoryclimateisseenbymanyasburdensomeforsome andbusinesseswithinconsistenciesinpermitting,extendedlocalapprovalprocesses,andotherpoliciespractices.
Local Jobs –EmploymentopportunitiesinAustinorSanAntonioaretypicallyhigher-payingand requireanaveragecommuteof33minutesormore.Onlyabout23%ofthosewholiveinBastrop workintheBastroparea.Anestimated42%oftheworkforcehas“supercommutes”inexcessof90 minutes.
COVID-19 and Economic Recovery – The pandemic has impacted businesses throughout the county,especiallysmallbusinesses,whowerehitthehardest,andresidentswhoexperiencedjob losses. Large events and gatherings were also canceled and impacted a loss of community engagementandspendingfromvisitorsoutsideofthecounty.TheimpactonBastrop’seconomic vitalitymaytakeafewyearstofullyrecover.
Industry Sectors – Construction, Retail Trade, Healthcare and Social Assistance comprise the primary sectors for Bastrop County. The largest employers in the County include Bastrop Independent School District, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines & Resort & Spa, Bastrop County, MD AndersonCancerCenter,HEBandWalmart. ThenewTeslaGigafactoryislocatedabout20miles westofBastrop,whileTheBoringCompanyislocatedinthecentralportionofBastropCounty.
Labor Market – The workforce pulls from 5 counties inthe Central Texas region, and wages typicallyaveragebelowthoseinAustin. InJune2021,theCountyunemploymentratewas5.1% comparedtotheTexasaverageof6.6%andthenationalaverageof5.9%.
A tremendous variety of job opportunities are within a one-hour commute. The County is a wonderfulplacetowork,live,visitandraiseafamily.
CHALLENGES BastropandBastropCountyhavechallenges,bothrealandperceived,whichmustbeaddressedtoensure astrongeconomicfuture. Theseinclude:
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 4 degreeorhigher,providingemployerswithawell-educatedlaborforce. TheArtInstituteofAustin recentlyrelocatedtoBastropandoffersdegreeprogramsinVisualArts,InteriorDesign,Marketing, Animation&Effects,Film&Production,Gaming&Technology,andFashion.
MedianIncome/BastropCounty–$54,867 AverageIncome/BastropCounty-$74,767 Medianhomeprice(78602)-$423,935(upfrom$268,999in2020)
Brand –WithAustin’snationallyvisiblebrandinsuchcloseproximity,Bastropcanbeseenasless progressiveandlessattractive.Bastrop’sidentityisalsonotyetasstrongasother,moredensely populated suburban communities in the Austin region. These issues can lead to difficulty in attractingandretainingyoungprofessionalstothearea.
Collaboration – Leverage partnerships with the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation, Workforce Solutions, Bastrop ISD, the City and County to implement initiatives benefiting businessesandresidents. Workwithlocalschooldistrictsandhighereducationinstitutions to addressspecificworkforcedevelopmentneedsofemployersandincreasetheawarenessofcareer opportunitiesinBastrop.
K-12 Pipeline –Experiencesthatshowcaseentrepreneurshipandcareeropportunitiesinspire studentsforabrightandpromisingfutureinBastrop.
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New Development and Existing Businesses – Quality of Life assets can offer “ground floor” opportunitiesforcommercialinvestmentandfuturegrowth;andprovideresourcestoexisting Bastropbusinesseswhichsupporttheirgrowthinitiatives.TheannouncementofthenewTesla manufacturingsitewillalsobringnewjobsandattractbusinessesandjobstothearea.
Strong Economy –Significant,ongoinggrowthintheCentralTexasregioncanandshouldprovide newgrowthopportunitiesfortheCountyandCityofBastrop.ThelargerAustin-areaeconomyalso actsasa“shield”tothelocaleconomy,meaningtheeconomicswingsarelesslikelytohavea negativeimpactwhencomparedwithothersimilar-sizedcommunities.
New Development and Business Expansion –Lowtomoderategrowthratesexistformany Bastropbusinessesduetoalackofcapitalinvestmentordifficultyinattractingskilledtalentfor emergingindustries. Thishindersthegrowthofenterpriseswhichcouldsatisfythoseseekinga more“metrocity”environment.
Sense of Place –BecauseBastrop’sidentityisnotdirectlytiedtotheAustinbrand,BastropCounty enjoysauniquesenseofplacewhichshouldbecelebratedalongwithitsmorepeacefulQualityof Life. AmenitiescanbedevelopedwhichholdtruetoBastrop’suniqueidentityandhistorywhile directlyengagingyoungprofessionalsandfamilies,enhancingcommunitypridetoallwhocallthe area“home.”
Pro-Business Environment –Buildrelationshipswithnewandexistingpolicymakerstoadvocate foranenvironmentwhichinspiresandsupportsthelocalbusinesscommunity.
Labor Market –ThelingeringeffectsoftheCOVID-19pandemiccontinuetomakeitdifficultfor localemployerstofilljobopeningsacrosstheentirespectrumoflower,mid-levelandupperlevel skilled positions. Despite a constant flow of students through the region’s higher education institutions,the“talentwar”luresmanyyoungprofessionalstometrocitiesthatofferingmore diverseopportunitiesandamenities.
Housing –Thecurrentshortageofhousingsupplyandincreasedmedianhomepricescanprevent localemployersfromattractingtalent. Itcanfurtherpreventanormalmovethroughlifeand careercycles,makingourresidentialbasemoretransitionary.Withnotableinwardmigration continuinginTexas,limitedhousingcouldmeanthatBastropismissingoutongrowth opportunities.Manylocalemployersstatealargepercentageoftheirworkforcelivesoutsidethe Bastroptradearea.
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 6 Young Professionals –Bastrop’smedianageof40yearsoldandhighereducationalinstitutions attractmanybrightandtalentedindividuals.ByengagingthemthroughtheChamber,connecting themwithcareeropportunitiesanddevelopingcommunityamenities,theCountycoulddevelopthe futuretalentpoolneededforemployers. THESE CHALLENGES ARE NOT UNSURMOUNTABLE. WE HAVE A PLAN. TheBastropChamberofCommerce’s2022-2024strategicplanprovidesablueprinttoleveragestrengths, overcomechallengesandcapitalizeontheopportunitiesahead. Chamberleadershipandstaffhavebeen taskedwithfacilitatingandaccomplishingthisplan.
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 7 Our Mission Statement To improve business prosperity and, thereby, the quality of life in Bastrop County, through leadership, advocacy, and collaboration. Our Vision Statement The Bastrop Chamber will be recognized as the principle advocate for business, prosperity, and economic sustainability for Bastrop County. OurCoreValues Ethical, Supportive, Resourceful, Respectful, and Innovative. Where We’re Going TheChamber’sstrategicplanisathree-yearinitiativetopromotestrengths,expandexistingbusinesses andbusinessopportunities,andsignificantlyimprovetheeconomicfutureforallwhocallBastropCounty home. Prioritieswillfocusonthefollowingareas: AMPLIFY VALUE TO MEMBERS Provideresourcesandconnectionsthathelpourmembers succeed. ADVOCATE FOR BUSINESS –Createanenvironmentwherebusinessescanfindsuccessinthe Bastroparea. ADVANCE COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE –FortifycommunityconnectionswithintheBastrop area. ALIGN RESOURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY —Enhancethecredibilityandfinancialstabilityof theChamber.
Strategy1: Offer Member-to-Member connections.
Continue to provide sponsorship opportunities for members.
Success Metrics: Number of members contacted for outreach initiatives, percentage of members engaged, attendance at programs and events, number of Chamber referrals for members, member feedback and satisfaction ratings, member retention, net revenue of programs and events, number of hosted programs.
Membership Checklist Offer Educational Opportunities
Tactics: Continue to host onsiteand online networking events (i.e., Luncheons, Alive After Five).
Strategy2: Educate members on Chamber benefits and provide Educational Opportunities.
Success Metrics: Attendance at programs and events, sponsorship and advertising opportunities, web page visits andlinks forChamberOnline BusinessDirectory, numberofChamberreferralsformembers, member feedback and satisfaction ratings, member retention, net revenue of programs from events.
Tactics: Member Information Center (MIC)training sessions. Chamber MembershipBenefits 101.
Tactics:•Leverage members’ expertise as speakers for webinars and programs.
Strategy2: Promote members to the Bastrop community and beyond.
Incentivize through Chamber Referral Program
Barriers: Diverse needs of members, not understanding member needs, time poverty, lack of member engagement.
Objective A: Access to “Circles of Influence” for members.
One-on-one meetings with members to discuss benefits.
Encourage members toengage in committees with like-minded peers.
Tactics: Continue to provide Ribbon Cuttings/Grand Openings celebrations.
Provide opportunities for members to learn from one another through educational programs and roundtable discussions.
PRIORITY AREA:AMPLIFY VALUETO MEMBERS Provide resources and connections that help our members succeed.
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 8
Provide strategic introductions among members.
Objective B: Increased visibilityfor our members.
Strategy1: Provide opportunities for members to learn and share best practices.
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 9 Continue to promote our members through our online Business Directory & Community Guide. Continue Member of the Week social media campaign. Strategy3: Enhance the value of membership. Tactics: Member testimonials and videos on the value of Bastrop Chamber membership. Review tiered membership model and adjust benefits, as needed. Collect member feedback on benefits and ideas on how to enhance value. Use retention plan toprovide personal outreachto members.
● Support the improvement and expansion of infrastructure (roads and utilities).
● Offer a Lunch & Learn from the experts about the City permitting process.
● Share business concerns and issues with policymakers.
● Offer Candidate Forums where businesses and policymakers can engage.
● Send out an annual survey to identify member concerns and Chamber priorities.
● Partner with chambers and other organizations in our area to support managed growth initiatives.
AREA:ADVOCATEFOR BUSINESS Create an environment where businesses can find success in Bastrop County.
Success Metrics: Web traffic and access to advocacy info on Chamber websites, attendance at advocacy events, member and stakeholder feedback, outcomes on bond initiatives.
Strategy2: Build coalitions to influence intentional growth.
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Success Metrics: Attendance of policymakers at Chamber-hosted events, attendance at advocacy events, member and stakeholder feedback, outcomes on policy initiatives.
● Meet with businesses that have roadblocks or questions that impact expansion or impediments to open their business.
Strategy3: Educate and influence policymakers to support pro-business policies.
Strategy 2: Support initiatives that offer positive impact.
Strategy1: Serve as aliaison between the business community and policymakers.
● Partner with other chambers in the area and statewide to influence policy at all levels of government.
● Offer a Lunch & Learn from the experts about the City permitting process.
Objective B: Strongcollaboration with policy makers.
Objective A: An informed business community on issues.
Strategy1: Create interactive information sharing platforms.
Barriers: Growth concerns, lack of access to information for business leaders, perceptions not based on facts, fear of change.
● Use social media and other technology to share information with the business community.
● Advocate for community partner initiatives that also benefit the business community.
Objective C: Smart, intentional growth. Success Metrics: Member and stakeholder feedback, outcomes on advocacy initiatives.
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Strategy1: Advocatefor expansion of Bastrop’sgeographic footprint.
● Support initiatives that expand Bastrop County and protect Bastrop County assets and access.
● Meet with Bastrop County policymakers to consider annexations and other initiatives to protect the encroachment of other town jurisdictions on Bastrop borders.
● Partner with other chambers in the area and statewide to influence policy at all levels of government.
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Barriers: Perceived conflicts and misalignment among organizations, competition for access to influencers and revenue opportunities, history among different organizations and leaders.
Identify non-profits that promote diversity and support.
Objective A: Sense of community.
AREA: ADVANCE COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE
Strategy1: Encourage involvement of local businesses and non-profits.
Tactics: Create joint event with community partners.
Strategy2: Support other community events.
Strategy2: Collaborate with community partners.
Strategy1: Provide events that drive communityengagement.
Success Metrics: Collaborations among community partners, attendance at community engagement events, feedback from community partners and other stakeholders.
Highlight non-profits at Chamber luncheons.
Objective B: Alignment of community partners.
Tactics: Build public-private relationships to benefit the Bastrop County. Identify specific partnerships for Chamber members.
Tactics: Include community partner events onthe Chamber’s Community Calendar.
Cross-promote educational opportunities amongcommunity partners.
Success Metrics: Number enrolled in BEST Leadership Program, engagement of BEST Leadership alumni in community initiatives, feedback from program participants and community partners.
Objective C: Leadership pipeline for Bastrop County.
Continue to plan and deliver the current Annual Patriotic Festival in 2022
Fortify community connections within the Bastrop County.
Success Metrics: Feedback from community partners and other Bastrop area stakeholders, social media campaign participation, number of booth sales, attendance at community engagement events.
Invite quarterly guest to present at Chamber board meetings to provide updates on their initiatives (ex. BCLTRT, Bastrop County Cares, etc).
Tactics: Evaluate the cost vs. benefit of executing the Annual Patriotic Festival. Seek other partners inthis endeavor.
Board and staff attend partner events to show Chamber support.
Cross-promote events among community partners.
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Strategy2: Be a catalyst to influence leadership in action. BEST Leadership Alumni projects. a Past Chairman Council and/or Chairman Advisor Council. Coordinatetwo service projects yearly by the Bastrop Young Professionals.
Strategy 1: Facilitate opportunities for leadership development. Continue to evaluate BEST Leadership Program and develop moreconcretemetrics and measures of success.
Tactics: Reviewsuccessof BESTLeadershipProgramaswellasopportunitiesforimprovement. BEST Leadership Program annualservice project. feasible of launching a Bastrop County Leadership Program. the Bastrop Young Professionals group.
Tactics: Annual review of programs and outcomes and decide which ones to sunset the next year.
Identify opportunities for innovative programming.
Tactics: Recruit for diversity representation from both businesses and the community.
Success Metrics: Accreditation rating, member and community feedback, media recognition, board and staff feedback, operational impact from implementing industry best practices, completion of checklist items.
Tactics: Explore, benchmark, and implement best practices in the industry.
Review and refine disaster-planning strategies.
Strategy3: Leveragethe diversity and strengthsof Bastrop area leaders.
Strategy1: Recognized as Best-in-Class inthe industry.
Strategy2: Be an agileorganization.
Identify opportunities todo more through technology.
Submit U.S. Chamber accreditation application by August 31, 2022.
Objective A: Organizational excellence.
Strategy1: Increaseoperational efficiencies.
Research newtechnology programs and tools.
Use the BEST Leadership, ambassadors and committees as atalent recruiting pool.
Objective B: U.S. Chamber Accreditation and strengthening of Chamber brand.
Install security system by January 31, 2022.
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Success Metrics: Member and community partner feedback, monthly and annual net financial results, board and volunteer engagement, staff satisfaction and longevity.
AREA:ALIGN RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABILITY Enhance the credibility and financial stability of the Chamber.
Continue to provide internship opportunities at the Chamber.
Tactics: Expand Chamber office space for additional staff by taking back the 2 offices currently being leased out.
Continue offering professional development opportunities for Chamber staff (i.e., IOM, ACCE, TCCE, CCCE events and BEST Leadership Program).
Barriers: Lack of awareness of the Chamber’s roles and its impact on Bastrop and the County, lack of enough resources to implement longer-term initiatives from the strategic plan, need for a larger pool of leadership talent for Chamber committees.
Strategy2: Share the Chamber story.
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 15 Submit applications for Best Place to Work in Bastrop County and other local awards. Submit applications for media awards &other industry recognition.
Strategy1: Leverage a501(c)3foundation for grant and initiative opportunities.
Tactics: Highlight the Chamber’s achievements through distributed press releases. media campaigns about the Chamber, howit serves and highlight outcomes. the Strategic Plan on Chamber website to increase awareness. Distribute Chamber Dashboard with key metrics. testimonials and videos on the value of Bastrop Chamber membership.
Tactics: Consider Chairman’s Council to research, create and support foundation. Set up Chamber foundation and identify its purpose. Apply for corporate, government and foundation grants. Create fundraising campaigns for causeinitiatives.
Tactics: Board review of annual budget and monthly financial outcomes. Six months of reserves as an asset. audit conducted every 3-years and reviews on off years.
Objective C: Streams of sustainable revenue Success Metrics: Revenue line items, monthly and annual net financial results, amount of reserves.
Strategy2: Continue being financial stewards ofmember investments.
SusanSmith,VisitBastrop JaceJones,AscensionSetonBastrop Chamber Staff
Chamber Board of Directors Chair2022–ChadBenoit,E3Capital ChairElect2023–EvanMoilan,EvanMoilanConsulting PastChair2021–LoriTuggle,StateFarmInsurance–LoriTuggle
Summary Forthe2022–2024strategicplantobesuccessful,engagementandinvolvementfromabroad baseofcommunityleadersisrequired. TheBastropChamberofCommercewillprovidestaff supportandoverallmanagementofthisplan,butexecutionoftheseprioritygoalsandthe opportunitytosucceedreliesonvolunteerleaderswhodirectlyworktoenhancethelevelof engagementamongourmembers. Thisplanisdistinguishedbyitsaggressiveness,transparency,andcommitmenttoevaluating progressbyestablishedbenchmarks.Achievingitsgoalswillrequirestrongleadership, dedication,commitmentandbroadcollaboration. Wewillknowwhichgoalsweareachieving andthosethatneedmoreattention,butyoursupportiscriticaltomakingithappen. Welook forwardtoyoujoiningoureffortstokeep Bastrop County the BEST place to live, learn, work, and play in Central Texas.
Treasurer–BrittanyRogers,RoscoeStateBank –JillLube, AgainEmporiumThriftStore
2022-2024 Strategic Plan – Approved by Board of Directors– May 18, 2022 Page 16
President/CEO–BeckiWomble,IOM VicePresident|Operations–JamiHaney EngagementSpecialist–StephanieDoradea Media&CommunicationSpecialist–CorbinWright
BastropChamberofCommerce 927MainStreet BastropTX 78602 512.303.0558|www.bastropchamber.com