Your Chamber at Work - April 15, 2019




The emphasis was on global trade last week as the World Trade Center Association (WTCA) held its annual world conference. Kansas City is one of the 330 World Trade Centers (WTC) around the planet, one of only three chambers in the U.S. to operate a licensed WTC.

WTC-Kansas City staff Melissa Miller and Kaitlin Bast and I attended last week’s international conference, held in Queretaro, Mexico – a growing city about half the size of Kansas City, with a focus on tech and manufacturing. And a Kansas City Southern line running through it as well.

The global network of 330 WTC cities is a resource you can leverage, providing market information and assistance as well as business-to-business contacts in the region you’re considering.

Our Export Concierge program makes it easy to navigate the sometimes complicated path of international business, whether you’re new to exporting or are thinking about expanding to new markets. We’ve helped more than 100 Kansas City businesses grow their international presence.

After all, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S. – so why not consider “going global?”


Small Business season is definitely in full-swingWe recently announced our Top 10 Small Businesses:  Agforce Transport Services; Charlie Hustle; IBC, Inc.; KC Bier Co.; Lever1; Odimo; RFP360; Ripple Glass; TREKK Design Group; and VeriShip. There is still much work to be done before we find out the Small Business of the Year. The CEOs from each of these businesses will gather for the  Top 10 Think Tank: Small Business Best Practices Breakfast 2019. Get a chance to meet and mingle as they divulge the secrets to their success and share their best practices. In the meantime, our Chamber team begins working on the videos showcasing these companies. We’re heading to each business to speak with the CEO and find out what makes the day-to-day operations run smoothly, and what’s in store for the future. We started yesterday and will be wrapped up by the end of next week. Then the judges will spend some time at these locations before they make their final selection on who will be named Small Business of the Year May 23. By the way, if you missed our Top 10 announcement day, you can just head to social media. On Friday, April 5, we arrived at each of these locations with balloons, champagne, and confetti to announce the good news. You can search #CelebrateSmallBiz on Twitter to see the photos from that day. 


We’ve been a champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace for well over a decade, and we're getting ready to honor an organization in our business community who also champions that important work. The application deadline for the Champion of Diversity Award is Friday, May 3. This award recognizes a regional business that has made an impactful commitment to embracing diversity in their workplace, diversity supplier partnerships, and the community. May 3 is also the self-application deadline for the ACE and Supplier Diversity ACE Award. For information on the awards and to nominate, click here. The winners will be announced at the POWER of Diversity Breakfast July 24. We want to equip regional businesses with the resources needed to successfully implement D&I practices that could lead to winning either of these awards. That includes our current diversity and inclusion workshop series. This past Friday, more than 100 individuals attended our first session focused on implicit bias. If you missed it, don’t worry. There are three more sessions: Promoting a Diverse Workforce on June 7, Implementing a Diversity & Inclusion Program in the Workplace on August 9, and Understanding a Supplier Diversity Program on October 18. All are free, and take place in our Board Room on the first floor of historic Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd. We hope to see you there.  


What started as the home of world-famous comic strips has turned into a full-service media company. Andrews McMeel Universal now handles publishing, television and film, and has become the world’s largest independent syndicate of comics, editorial features, and more. Our next Neighborhood Networking event is your chance to enjoy the company’s unique and spacious downtown headquarters in the historic Boley Building, 1130 Walnut. Join us Friday, April 26 at 8:30 a.m. for coffee, conversation, and some great networking. See why Andrews McMeel remains one of Kansas City’s most iconic businesses. The event is free for members and $15 for non-members. Register here.  Andrews McMeel is one of our Neighborhood Networking series sponsors, alongside Spectrum Reach. The 2019 networking sponsors are MazumaSS&C, and Sprint. If you can’t make this Neighborhood Networking, we’ll see you May 10 at Chicken N Pickle for our next one. 


The KC Chamber’s Instagram account is the latest way you can keep up with everything we’re doing for our members. Interact with us at @kcchamber. From networking events to member profiles to policy updates to ribbon cuttings and a lot more fresh content in between, just keep tapping through our stories and our posts to stay connected to the resources we provide. If you’re company isn’t on Instagram, it might be time to join. More than 25 million companies are using Insta worldwide. In fact, more than 200 million users visit at least one business profile per day. In addition to our Instagram account, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn as well. Send us a message or connect with any questions you may have.