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Strategic Plan

Our Mission “to improve the overall business climate for its members through sponsorship of programs which stimulates economic growth and promotes civic development.” Vision Statement The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the voice of the local business community for a better business environment. The Chamber acts as a catalyst for business and economic growth by encouraging education opportunities, effective community planning and promoting a positive community image and attitude towards economic opportunities.

GUIDING PINCIPLES: As the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, we believe: The Chamber of Commerce exists to promote the economic vitality of the community. That membership in the Chamber is an investment in the economic health of the community. In being flexible and forward thinking. In a strong working relationship among Board, staff and members, and that those relationships are best supported by a shared vision and values. That strategic thinking, planning and follow-through are essential for our success and that Havre does have a good future and we play a role in developing that future. That it is the role of the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce to monitor issues of pertinence to the business community as they arise and to strive to influence the outcome of those issues for the benefit of our membership and the betterment of the community. 

MEMBERSHIP: The purpose of this goal is to grow the Chamber membership along with sustaining membership retention. The Chamber Ambassadors play a key role in welcoming new members.: Membership is the backbone of the Chamber. The Chamber will look at new and better ways to serve the membership. The Chamber will work to facilitate, where and when possible, workshops for the businesses of Havre. Community relations and marketing will continue with regards to Chamber projects that benefit the membership and the community. Communications is key in this area.

Goal: Assist the Chamber Executive in developing programs to encourage participation in Chamber events and retention of Chamber members.

Objectives: Develop a member retention program to include board to make member visits each month – started in 2012 and continued in 2013 and into 2014. Organize an Annual Operation Thank You.

Organized a Membership Task Force. During months a Chamber newsletter isn’t printed- an article will go in the newspaper and the other month- an email newsletter will be sent out. Continue to encourage sustaining and new members to participate in Chamber events.

Work with Ambassadors to add value to new member ribbon cuttings. Celebrate business milestones of sustaining members.

Continue to develop seminars, workshops and programs for membership benefits.( workshops on using web and Facebook to market business)

Regularly survey membership on issues and topics related to community and businesses to keep board updated.

Special Projects Community Campaign

Enhance new member recognitions with invites to board and membership to attend.

Work with members to complete their Chamber web site business listing – new web address

Objectives: Set up a plan to develop the Cash Mob activity- started in 2013 successfully.

Organize Ribbon Cuttings for new Chamber members and increase member participation through communicating with membership and board.

Facilitate Grand Openings and re-Grand Openings for new Havre businesses that aren’t members and for Chamber members.

Offer assistance to Havre businesses; Help Clean up Havre Businesses Day Community Tree Lighting; work with businesses during event to stay open later. Host Lunch with Santa. Help host the Chamber’s Annual Meeting.

BUIDLING ECONOMY:  The purpose for this goal is to help grow current Havre and area business and assist with recruitment of new businesses all the while making Havre a better place to live and work. The Chamber will continue to work on projects that Build Economy. This strategic focus has several areas: Business Development, Transportation and Workforce. Business Development.

Goal: To assist in retaining and supporting existing businesses; assist (when and where possible) in the recruitment of new business; support community development opportunities.

Objective: Expand the current committee currently made up of representatives from MSU-Northern, Havre Public Schools, Northern Montana Hospital, City of Havre, Hill County, Bear Paw Development, businesses and the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, to include more main street businesses, in order to discuss opportunities for business growth.

Organize regular business tours for the committee to have an expanded vision of current business happenings in Havre. Partner with Northern to sustain its economic role in the community.

Community relations: Instead of updating the CD ROM – look into making the Chamber’s Website smartphone compatible, continue to make updates to the Community Profile, establish an economic development effort with local media.

Use the City/County Growth Policy to guide the Chamber with projects and community development. (The Chamber participated in the development of the new policy.)

The Chamber advocates for its members through a variety of public affairs to city, county, state and federal officials to foster a business environment where business can survive and succeed.

Lead and inform the business community on issues impacting business and our quality of life. Chamber leadership will participate in community conversations on ideas and projects that will better the economic base of the area.

Work with city and county on potential areas of development: Proposed industrial park.

Transportation: Transportation is vital to community growth and affects all sectors of the business community. Quality air service, rail service, public transportation and the 24-hour commercial port status for Wild Horse will be the priorities for transportation.

Goal: To have quality and dependable area transportation

Objective: Assist where possible the marketing of our air service and support the airport. Develop a plan to get the word out about transportation services in the area. Partner with EAS to have quality, dependable air service. Continue to support North Central Transit. Continue to get the word out about the services provided – including schedules. Continue to be an active player with all work being done on the proposed 24 hour commercial port at Wild Horse. Continue to support Amtrak service for Northern Montana.

Workforce Development: An educated workforce is vital to community development. The Chamber will continue to partner with Havre Public Schools and MSU-Northern to connect business and Education. A strong and competitive workforce is a must for business to grow, thus the Chamber will continue to provide Education and resources to help develop an effective work force and a good work place. Northern contributes to the development of economic opportunities that help sustain our population and community infrastructure.

Goal: Enhance the quality of  the workforce.

Objectives: Develop a business survey related to area workforce issues. Define 2 recommendations for types of training that is needed. Work with MSU-Northern and Havre Public Schools to establish educational synergies in the area of workforce development and work to identify current workforce issues.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: The purpose of this goal is to work with Chamber members and the community to identify problems, assets and resources to build a sustainable future for the Havre area.

Public Awareness Committee

Goal: Educate members of the Chamber and public about Federal, State, City & County issues that affect Chamber business and members. Communicate the Chamber’s position on these issues to public officials. Facilitated through the Legislative Committee.

Objective: Facilitate and promote meetings on current local issues that impact local business. Work in partnership with Bear Paw Development to host candidate forums. Work in partnership to educate the public and members on community/business issues that will affect our city, county, education, health care and transportation.

Chamber Projects and Committee Work

Goal: To organize and facilitate quality community events; to work on projects that help to make our community visually pleasant and inviting with activities that showcase our community.

Objective: Coordinate Havre Festival Days in September. Coordinate the Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting. Facilitate Sounds on the Square and S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Market. Coordinate Havre PRIDE/ with Hi-Line Recycling. (Support and participate in local recycling efforts)by working together –business & community-we can create an attractive, clean, safe town. Continue to work with city on 1st Street flower planters and community beatification. Support efforts of Chamber Committee’s with their projects and events. Work in partnership with other community groups (where and when possible).

MSU- Northern/ Chamber Relations Committee

Goal: To promote awareness of the economic impact of Montana State University-Northern to the City of Havre and surrounding area.

Objective: Ideas for conversation…..

In partnership with Northern organize downtown spirit rallies for Northern on home game weekends.

Continue dialog with MSU leadership to keep Northern’s best interests at hand. Look at how to participate in new student orientation.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT:  The purpose of this category is to enhance economic development for the community through the promotion of tourism, while sustaining our culture, heritage, environment and the wellbeing of our residents. Tourism:  This strategic plan encompasses two tourism entities: The Chamber and the Havre/Hill County Tourism Business Improvement District ( TBID).

Goal: To strengthen Havre’s economy by promoting year-round tourism as an economic sustainable industry.


Expand our marketing potential through the development of marketing partnerships by participating in joint ventures with the MTOT, Central Montana, other tourism organizations, key non-profits and local businesses to promote the Havre area to individuals and group travelers.

To create a web site and Facebook page that showcases tourism opportunities and experiences. (TBID) Assist local attractions and event organizers, in Havre, with the organizing, growing and marketing of their events to ultimately bring more visitors to Havre. Capitalize on the Canadian market through the shoulder seasons media campaign.

Grow shoulder season markets through effective marketing and promotions, focusing on high-value, low-impact visitors.

Educate residents and business leaders about the local attractions and their economic impact – and the potential we have for tourism. ( Use the MTOT Superhost Program) Work to increase length of visitor stays and expenditures by raising their awareness of what Havre has to offer.

Explore opportunities to promote the Native American tourism potential.

Work to increase Havre’s cultural, historic and recreational attractions among meeting and convention planners, so they know we can make their gathering happen in Havre. Use the brand developed by TBID wherever possible in all future marketing pieces. Incorporate the Montana Branding Initiative and the Montana Strategic Plan.

Special Projects

Continue to print the area brochure

Living History Weekend

Motel wrap –featuring area attractions & calendar Regional and Canadian Marketing

Web site updates and maintenance

 Goal: To be active on regional and state boards that directly and indirectly affect tourism in Havre.

Objectives: Continue to serve on the Central Montana Board. Continue to attend TBID tings and serve as executive director as well as stay connected to state CVB organization and MTOT - pending the day we can once again be a recognized CVB.

TBID (Tourism Business Improvement District)

Goal: Work with Chamber’s Tourism Committee to enhance current tourism marketing efforts and explore new area of tourism marketing bringing in revenues to the community.

Objectives: Develop a marketing plan that generates more visitors to Havre – that stay in TBID properties.

Develop and implement a marketing plan that compliments current tourism marketing efforts. Partner with the MTOT, Central Montana and Havre Chamber and other entities to leverage marketing dollars.

Implement the brand developed in media placements going forward in 2013 and into 2014.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING DEVELOPMENT The purpose of this goal is to provide new training and educational opportunities for Chamber members and the Board.

Business Assistance for Business Clinic.

Goal: Organize and promote a one-day workshop to businesses providing up-to-date information on employment, tax laws and tax credits.

Objectives: Add one new Chamber member from the participant list of the Assistance for Business Clinic.

Seminars and Workshops

Goal: Organize and promote workshops for businesses that provide information beneficial to them doing business.

Objectives: How to capitalize on social media and other web technology. (Topic ideas include: Creating a web site on a Budget, Does your business need Facebook? How to use your iPad and iPhone.) Develop a partnership (HPS or MSU-N) to provide a series of workshop on using technology to market businesses.


12 @12( LEADS Group)

Goal: Develop a series of courses that tackle a range of business topics, designed to address the core business issues facing Montana employers.

Objectives: Host quarterly or bi-annually lunch hour training courses to address a variety of topics and issues as requested by Chamber Members -Survey members in attendance on future topics.


Goal: To provide information to the board in order for them to have the knowledge for which to continue to drive the Chamber to be the catalyst for business and economic growth.

Objectives: Survey membership for future topics and on Chamber direction.