As we have continued to host new member orientations for our more than 150 new members since October, we have spent a great deal of time talking about community and regional growth. And why wouldn't we? It is central to our strategy of creating economic prosperity for all of Manhattan's residents.
When we talk about growth, we are generally talking about three areas.
- Population Growth - In order for a community to continue to thrive, there has to be a minimum amount of new citizens to fill jobs, shop at local stores and keep a community vibrant.
- Job Growth - In order to generate more revenue for a community, there has to be annual job growth, particularly among those businesses that import dollars into a community.
- Disposable Income Growth - We want the people of Manhattan to be able to afford the kind of quality of life that has made Manhappiness a well-known term across the state.
These goals are not easily achievable. Communities across the world spend millions (probably more) on these initiatives because they understand that growth is essential to their long-term viability.
Our organization is committed to this endeavor as it is the one area that should unite businesses of every size and type. Without growth, businesses see their costs increase each year and their customer base stay stagnant or even get smaller. Without growth, other businesses may not be able to operate at full capacity because of labor shortages. For instance, we've heard there are as many as 1,500 jobs in the region currently unfilled. The economic impact of this challenge alone is likely in the millions for Manhattan.
It is the same for governing bodies. Growth generates additional tax receipts without rate increases. Without growth, these governing bodies are faced with higher costs to provide services. The only choices are cut services or raise the amount collected from existing residents.
Our members generally don't care for either of those choices. We will strive to continue to promote these three growth initiatives to preserve the same quality of life today that we've had throughout our history.
Thank you for joining us in this effort.