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Thinking Beyond the Present

The greater Chicagoland region has reached a critical juncture. In an economy that has become increasingly competitive and demanding, businesses must find new ways to create value in their products and services. It is no longer enough to merely be efficient — a competitive advantage requires a dynamic shift in thinking. Innovation equals greater prosperity in the global marketplace. Therefore, businesses must harness their creative energies to develop new markets and foster progressive trends to compete in the new economy of the 21st Century.

City of Chicago

To respond to the challenges facing the region’s businesses, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has proactively created the Chicagoland Business Growth Initiative (BGI). The BGI is designed to help the region’s businesses better understand and prepare for the dynamics of the new economic paradigm. The Initiative will assist Chicagoland businesses in identifying areas of opportunity for growth, mitigate threats or challenges to growth, and promote innovation as a primary means to growth and increased productivity.

Through a plan of ongoing assessment, outreach, discussion and action, the BGI can help position the region as a major global business center. The Initiative is grounded in the 2,600 members of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, but extends to all members of local chambers of commerce and interested business organizations in Greater Chicagoland.

As part of the BGI, A Thought Leadership and Policy Conference is in development for fall of 2006. Open to Chicagoland’s business and civic leaders, the conference will help shape the future of Chicagoland’s economy. The presentation of cutting edge information, data, speakers, and best practices from around the world will provide business and civic leaders with the tools necessary to take proactive steps toward ensuring the long-term competitive viability of Chicagoland’s business and commerce.

It is only through such forward thinking that the region can begin to realize its economic potential. Traditionally, the hallmark of Chicagoland’s viability has been its ability to evolve through similar competitive cycles. It has transitioned from a center of agriculture and trade, to a hub of manufacturing and transportation, to a diversified economy, strong in finance and services.

The Business Growth Initiative drives regional businesses to think beyond the present. By engaging business leaders now, a course of action can be taken to anticipate future trends, redefine the economic environment of the Chicagoland region, and ensure quality of life.

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