Cleveland, Ohio, and many other large cities such as Washington D.C., New York, and Los Angeles have Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), which are non-profit organizations formed through tax-supported/elected special improvement districts and funded through local tax assessment. In Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance works with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, but they are separate entities.
The Downtown Cleveland Alliance supports the face of business improvement through a team of paid ambassadors in their Clean and Safe Ambassador Program. These are paid positions, with a mix of part and full-time individuals who are very friendly, well trained, serve as extra eyes and ears to police, report panhandling or other issues with off-duty police officer), and help with clean up, gardening tasks and picking up trash. Ambassadors wear bright yellow and blue uniforms and work from 7 am to midnight, 7 days a week through Block by Block Services.
When incidences occur, the Alliance serves as a convener - aka council or mini town hall - to support the businesses, city/county officials, and stakeholders. The Clean and Safe Ambassadors work on the “see something, say something” model. The Alliance serves as a conduit to support the stakeholders.
In a not-crime-related instance, a major downtown street shut down for construction and the Alliance served as a convener for the local businesses to host a big downtown block party with music, food, retail, etc. A mini-stakeholder meeting was held to plan out the party details.
BID meetings or townhall sessions are generally scheduled ad hoc, as needed, and then pushed out to stakeholders and through the Chamber notices.
The BID encourages the community to talk to each other through these meetings. The meetings are hosted by different “owners,” like officials from the city, county, nonprofit org, business owners, or property managers.
The Cleveland BID has 10 year history and is well established. The director stressed that they truly serves as a convener, conduit of info, and serves as a community organizer.
For the BID and Chamber relationship, the Chamber serves as area’s overall business attraction and retention; whereas the BID works for tax payers only in downtown Cleveland. The BID is separate from Chamber, but they have a strong relationship. The BID is a non-profit org with its own board and staff.
If your community does not have a BID, one idea is to look into this formation; and another idea is to have the chamber serve in the same function as a BID – essentially, a convener and info conduit for area stakeholders and business owners to meet, discuss, plan and come up with community-based solutions.
I’m happy to talk more or if you’d like to schedule a conversation with the Cleveland BID director, please let me know and I’ll e-introduce you. I hope this is helpful and please let us know if we met the mark or how we can further assist.
Chamber Foundation QuickPoll - Results Available
The vast majority of respondents to our recent QuickPoll on Chamber Foundations either currently manage a 501(c)3 foundation or have one in the works. The results provide details on foundation missions, funding, and staffing - as well as some good advice from your chamber peers. Some highlights:
"Establish foundation governance that shows independence from your Chamber board. Establish a clear financial firewall between the Chamber and your foundation so that the IRS will not consider your foundation to be a supporting organization for your Chamber activities. Supporting organizations under 509(a) cannot receive grant funding from private foundations. Create strong contractual documents for rental of space and allocation of costs for staff time and network resources, etc. Draft your mission very broadly before submitting form 1023 to the IRS. Think big picture in allowing enough leeway to include programs or initiatives you may want to incorporate years down the road. You do not want to have to resubmit to the IRS when you expand your focus later."
"Talk with other chambers who have already gone through this process. Use the ACCE & WACE resource library. Ask everyone you know about nonprofits. We launched our foundation 3 years ago and at that time it was difficult to find chambers that had active or successful foundations. Do not give up, keep asking, and push forward."
"Be in it for the long haul."
Thanks to all who participated! For more information and resources related to Chamber Foundations, please see our Chamberpedia page on the topic.
(The full list of ACCE QuickPolls is available here.)
Announcing DCB Live Chat Support! Plus, FY 2015 Surveys Now Open!
Fiscal Year 2015 surveys in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking (DCB) are now open for participation, including the Salary Survey and the Operations Survey.
DCB is open 24/7, and free to members – but you can now get immediate help via live chat! So please enter your FY 2015 data now – and encourage your peers to do the same! The more data in the system, the more comprehensive the reports, and the quicker we can release FY 2015 comparisons and reports.
What you need to know:
- Login here.
- Complete three sections: Chamber Profile, Operations Survey, Salary Survey.
- Don't have time to do it all at once? Use the dynamic "Save" feature in each survey section to save your work as you go!
- Instant reports and comparisons are still available for FYs 2012-2014! (And the surveys never close: You can enter or update your data at any time.)
- Need help? Visit our Support page and access the Quick Start Guide and Data Collection Worksheet. Use our live chat support in DCB or email us (HERO@acce.org) for assistance anytime!
For more details, visit Working with Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking.
Chamber Statistics Snapshot Reports
We have several new FY 2014 reports available, based on chamber data collected in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking:
- The Membership Statistics Survey – FREE to all members
- Operations Survey Report – Available for purchase; free to Horizon Investors and All ACCEss Pass members.
- Salary and HR Statistics for Large, Mid-Size, and Small Chambers – Available to CEOs in the ACCE Bookstore (also free for Horizon members!)
If you have any questions about how to find these reports, please contact HERO@acce.org.
Affinity Programs QuickPoll Results
We recently polled members on the performance of their affinity programs. Here's a sampling of the results:
The majority of chambers managing affinity programs earn less than 1% of their total revenue from these programs:
And these chambers don't necessarily expect this to change: Less than a quarter of respondents are seeing increasing revenues from affinity programs.
Click here for the complete results, including the types of products and services chambers offer, as well as how members rate the performance of their affinity programs.
For related information and resources, visit our Chamberpedia page on Affinity Programs.
Fiscal Year 2014 Operations Survey Reports and Comparisons Now Available for Immediate Download
FY 2014 reports and comparisons are now available!
- If you participated in the FY 2014 Operations Survey in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking (DCB), thank you, your customized reports are awaiting you. If you didn't participate, you can still do so, and your FREE customized reports will be available as soon as your data is in.
- The traditional Chamber Operations Survey Report publication (showing 5 year trends by total revenue categories) is available in the ACCE Bookstore ($199 for members or $250 for non-members; Free for Horizon Investors and those with the All ACCEss Pass).
- The Membership Statistics report (showing 5 year trends by revenue categories) is available for FREE for all ACCE members. It is also available in DCB in the Operations Survey section, under “Reports and Charts”, customized to your chamber!
More on the DCB Survey Platform:
Login to Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking with your ACCE username and password (Don’t know it? Recall it here.) DCB is available 24/7, year round and chambers can participate by entering data in FY’s 2012, 2013, or 2014 and receive FREE comparisons and reports, instantly. Participate in 3 easy steps: Chamber Profile, Operations Survey, Salary Survey (open to CEOs or their delegates). Download the Quick Start Guide (pdf) for step-by-step instructions on using the platform or use the Data Collection Worksheet to help organize your chamber's answers to each of the survey section questions. Visit the Support page inside the platform for more definitions.
Learn how to download the FY 2014 reports and comparison in DCB at our Lunch and Learn Webinar on 4/15 (12:30-1 pm Eastern) or attend a future DCB webinar. For questions or support requests, email HERO@acce.org.
Help HERO Help You!
Three minutes of your time is all we need! We’d really love to get our members’ opinions of the HERO services. Please click here to answer four simple questions about HERO, and let us know of anything we could add or improve upon to serve you better. Thank you!
Reports and Comparisons for Fiscal Year 2014 available in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking
Get your Chamber's Fiscal Year 2014 data in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking and get free instant comparisons and reports for the Operations Survey, Membership Statistics and Salary Survey reports. Participate in 3 easy steps. Read more about access on our Research Overview page.
1. Log in to Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking with your ACCE username and password. Log in anytime you need to - the system is open 24/7, all year round! It is FREE for ACCE members.
2. Complete the Chamber Profile (required) section first. Then complete the Operations Survey and Salary Survey sections. Note: The Salary Survey section is open to CEO's or their delegates. CEOs may email permission for staff access to HERO@acce.org.
3. Once you have completed 50% or more of each survey, use the Compare Chambers tool and the Reports and Charts service, available in each survey section.
In each survey section, Compare Chambers is used to view on-screen comparisons of your chamber's responses and percentile to each survey questions. In addition to on-screen viewing, you can download the individual metrics to PowerPoint slides, PDF files, or use the Save As option to save each individual survey module by PDF or Spreadsheet. Compare Chambers also works with Year-Over-Year comparisons to view your chamber's performance from 2014-2013 or from 2013-2012. You can input your chamber's data for any fiscal year currently available (2012, 2013, 2014).
Reports and Charts, in each survey section, is used to download the full reports and calculations of the Operations Survey, Membership Statistics and Salary Survey reports, including the new CEO Compensation Overview, CEO & HR Statistics, Senior and Mid-Level Staff, Sales Staff, and Support Staff salary reports. Download these reports and view your chamber's percentile compared to the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of participating chambers.
Tips: Use the powerful filters to compare your chamber to a specific subset of chambers, allowing for apples-to-apples comparisons in revenue, membership size, region, population, staff size and more. Create your own Peer Cluster filter and select 5 or more chambers by name to compare your chamber to. All data is represented in aggregate and data remains anonymous. Use Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking comparisons and reports anytime you need them - making it a truly dynamic system. Need to see your retention stats for tomorrow's board meeting? Bingo! Need to see how your Sales Staff compensation levels and commissions compare to chambers in your region? Check. Need to compare your chamber's revenue or expense to others with similar membership sizes? We've got it all in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking.
Support and Questions: Go to Support in Dynamic Chamber Benchmarking or visit our Working with DCB page. Download the the Quick Start Guide (pdf) for step-by-step instructions on using the platform or use the Data Collection Worksheet to help organize your chamber's answers to each of the survey section questions. Attend one of our upcoming webinars. Email HERO@acce.org for individual assistance.
Gauging the Skills Gap: Is Your Community Workforce Career-Ready?
Results from the ACCE Education Attainment Division's recent QuickPoll are now available! More than 100 chamber professionals responded to questions about their business community’s perception of candidates, the importance of several core skills, and their chamber’s initiatives. Take a look below, and click here for the complete QuickPoll results.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that jobs aren’t filled because of a technical skills gap:
- Half find that a lack of non-technical skills (e.g., communication skills and teamwork) is also a huge challenge:
- Of the core skills we asked about, critical thinking and problem-solving is the most highly valued by poll participants:
For more on ACCE's Surveys and Data, including QuickPolls, view our Research Overview page.
International Trade Resources Now Available
The HERO team has added a new page on International Trade to Chamberpedia’s Economic and Community Development section. We’ve compiled related chamber services, programs, reports and publications, as well as federal trade resources, including research and statistics. We'll be adding to this page in the coming weeks, so please take a look and let us know at HERO@acce.org if your chamber has a program in this area that you’d like us to feature!