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Chattanooga Chamber Advocates for Diversification in Local Economy

"Chattanooga economic diversification concept"

Chattanooga Chamber Advocates for Diversification in Local Economy

Ambitious intentions to foster minority entrepreneurship

In what is shaping to be a monumental shift in economic perspective, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has initiated plans to foster and promote diversity in the city’s local economy. The Chamber hosted a Diversify event recently, targeted at galvanizing and mobilizing minority and women entrepreneurs in Chattanooga city.

Learning from Atlanta’s Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs

During the event, James “Jay” Bailey, a renowned entrepreneur who championed the establishment of the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs in Atlanta, delivered an inspiring keynote address. Within a span of four years, Bailey managed to not only reconstruct a 50,000-square-foot building that previously functioned as the corporate headquarter of H. J. Russell, a pioneer black businessman, but also helped more than 500 black entrepreneurs to establish or grow their businesses. These startups have, in turn, created over 2,800 job opportunities and yield more than $183 million in annual revenue.

The Rationale for Diversity

Bailey believes that corporate diversity is pivotal in addressing income inequalities, achieving economic mobility, and expanding the economy. His Russell Center has reportedly injected an estimated $600 million into Atlanta’s economy, a feat he believes Chattanooga could emulate. The Chamber’s leaders have also visited the Russell Center to glean insights in furthering their efforts in improving the Hamilton County Incubator.

Chattanooga’s City and Chamber Leadership In Agreement

Both the Chamber’s president, Charles Wood, and Chattanooga’s Mayor, Tim Kelly, echoed similar sentiments about the need for economic diversity. Wood pointed out that the Chamber is continuously seeking ways to foster an all-inclusive local economy, while Mayor Kelly highlighted the ‘One Chattanooga’ plan aimed at bridging racial and income gaps. He stressed that the city’s ultimate success will require engaging all sections of its population, a statement that was also supported by Malcolm Harris, the Senior Vice President of CLN Worldwide.

Looking Forward

It is clear that Chattanooga city’s leadership aims to prioritize diversification in its local economy. The Diversify event underlined the Chamber’s commitment toward this cause. The city hopes to emulate the success witnessed at the Russell Innovation Center in Atlanta. In doing so, they plan to bolster Chattanooga’s economy while providing opportunities for low-income workers and narrowing the city’s racial and income gaps.

Written by HERE News.

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