Home > News

Chamber's Economic Development Strategic Plan ahead of pace

Posted June 28, 2019

Archived Content Information and links provided may no longer be accurate.

The Fort Worth Chamber is 40% of the way into its four-year strategic plan, and Chris Strayer, senior vice president of business attraction, expansion and retention, said, “We’re doing great, more than halfway to our goal. We’re on pace to blow the numbers away.”

To date, 2019’s biggest relocation win is Stanley Black and Decker, which will locate to a 1.2-million square-foot warehouse and have a separate manufacturing facility for its Craftsman line of tools.

Strayer said the Chamber — and his team of Shea Hopkins and Netty Matthews — is working with 70 active prospects, of which 50 are new in 2019. The companies represent nearly 15,000 jobs and $1.125 billion in investments.

Strayer lauded certain percentage gains: 10% distribution/90% manufacturing is “a great number.” He said the continued growth in existing business activity versus attraction from 10% to 16% in the second quarter is “because of our local efforts to get out there and meet face-to-face.”

Finally, 79% of the activity is headquarters, 21% back office, and Strayer described that as “fantastic. We are getting a lot more headquarter looks.”

One other number illustrates the positive momentum. During 2018, the Chamber was involved in 2,305 jobs being created. Already in 2019, the number is 1,585.

Strayer said Fort Worth doesn’t get a lot of feedback when a company decides to go elsewhere, but he listed three possible reasons: need for specific skill sets, personal preferences by decision makers (near family, oceans, etc.) or a better piece of property available.

Business-tourism connection

Strayer called Visit Fort Worth a “great partner. We have to come together for quality of life,” a key component across the four pillars of the Chamber’s strategic plan.

Mitch Whitten, executive vice president of marketing and strategy for Visit Fort Worth, said tourism had a $2.6 billion economic impact from 9.4 million visitors last year. Approximately 24,000 jobs exist to happily serve those visitors. And, many of those visitors are decision makers, and their first look and first impression are impactful.

He said Visit Fort Worth is more focused on pursuing conventions in areas the Chamber attraction team is focused, such as aerospace/aviation and medical innovation. He also mentioned the need for 1,400 more hotel rooms downtown and completion of the Convention Center makeover. “We’ve had to turn down $200 million in bookings because of facilities.”

D/FW International Airport has 60 international routes and Fort Worth has become a favorite destination of Australians, who, Whitten said, “spend three to eight times more than other tourists.”

Strayer said the Chamber is in complete alignment with Visit Fort Worth on transportation issues. “Companies do look at how employees get around,” he said. “If they’re looking at a headquarters downtown, they’ll ask, ‘Where is the transportation?’”

Whitten said TEXRail “elevates our whole brand” and said Visit Fort Worth gives grants to Trinity Metro’s Molly and Dash circulators in and out of downtown.

“One of the differentiators here is people … friendly, with a can-do attitude,” Whitten said. “The Chamber is a great partner and we are working to make sure our messages are complementary.”

Get articles like this in your inbox. Subscribe to City News.

City News

Calendar

Disciplinary Appeal of Three-Day Suspension of Erica Williams: 9 a.m. Sept. 16, 2019; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, Classroom #1134, 505 W Felix Street.
View the agenda »

Trinity Metro Commuter Rail Committee Working Session: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
View the agenda »

Trinity Metro Planning, Operations & Marketing Committee Working Session: 4 p.m. Sept. 16, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room.
View the agenda »

Trinity Metro Finance & Audit Committee Working Session: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room.
View the agenda »

Global Business Opportunities for Entrepreneurs: 6 p.m. Sept. 16, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

Canceled Fort Worth Local Development Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled Central City Local Government Corporation: 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas.

Canceled Alliance Airport Authority, Inc.: 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation Meeting: 2 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

The Right Words Just Work - Message Clarity Workshop: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 17, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Quickbooks Online: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

Canceled Health Fair at Southside Community Center: 9 a.m. Sept. 18, 2019; Southside Community Center, 959 E. Rosedale.

Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 18, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, CIty Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: noon Sept. 18, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 1 p.m. Sept. 18, 2019; City Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Park Vista & Keller Haslet Intersection Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18, 2019; Villages of Woodland Springs Amenity Cener, 12209 Timberland Blvd.

Breakfast at the BAC featuring Dr. Stacia Alexander: 7:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Sept. 19, 2019; City Council Work Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 10 a.m. Sept. 19, 2019; City Council Work Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Housing Solutions FW Alliance Public Facility Corporation Meeting: 5 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; FWSH Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
View the agenda »

Northwest Community Center Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; Saginaw High School, 800 North Blue Mound Road.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Public Hearing: 6 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Public Hearing: 6 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; Fort Worth Housing Solutions Administrative Office, 1201 East 13th Street.
View the agenda »

Eastside & Southside Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; Sycamore Community Center, 2525 East Rosedale St.

WORKSHOP: Lead-Safe Program (Presented in Spanish): 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19, 2019; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18 St.

Barbershop Talk : 11 a.m. Sept. 20, 2019; Millennium Cuts, 8000 Wichita St No. 112.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee Meeting: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2019; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
View the agenda »

Fort Worth Crud Cruiser Event: 9 a.m. Sept. 21, 2019; MET Church, 11301 Old Denton Road, Fort Worth 76244.

Presentations and Pitches Bootcamp: 9 a.m. Sept. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

Tax Planning for Small Business: 9 a.m. Sept. 21, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
Register for this event »

WORKSHOP:Lead-Safe Program (Presented in English): 9:30 a.m. Sept. 21, 2019; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18th St.

Mental Health Awareness Fair at Como Community Center: 10 a.m. Sept. 21, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.