Local Businesses Put Community First
By Brittany Quick-Warner, CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Our city is home to incredible nonprofits doing ground-breaking work to meet the needs of our community. It is also home to dedicated local businesses who aren’t only focused on their bottom line but utilized an active and engaged approach to improve the conditions in our community for employees, neighbors and organizations. In Eugene, we do our best to put the needs of our community first, and it is evident in all we do.
Several years ago, when our city committed to policy-making and community-building following a Triple Bottom Line model, many business leaders in our community didn’t blink. Businesses in our region have been embracing the Triple Bottom Line concept for years and are leading the way in supporting people, protecting the planet, and improving the prosperity of our region.
Going the Extra Mile
When I talk to local professionals about why they enjoy doing business in Eugene, one thing really stands out: Eugene is a place where people feel connected—connected to the people, connected to the community and connected to a greater purpose for making this region the best it can be. In fact, that sense of connection and empowerment is one of the key metrics in attracting and retaining our workforce.
Employers across Lane County are going the extra mile to ensure their employees are happy, healthy and connected. They are providing staff with paid time off to volunteer and supporting vital services through sponsorship and philanthropy that actively improve our quality of life. Whether its people-first policies found at great companies like Palo Alto Software, or business people donating time and resources to help find solutions to community problems at events like the Technology Association of Oregon’s Hack-for-a-Cause, you will find business leaders coming together frequently to support the people in our community
Protecting the Planet
Make no mistake, we are pushing boundaries in Lane County, tackling challenges together and blurring the lines to reinvent what is possible. Companies like PakTech have innovated and evolved the manufacturing of their products to use recyclable material and prioritize the reduction of their environmental impact. While at Bulk Handling Systems, their product itself enables other companies to extract more recyclables from the waste stream.
So many other companies are voluntarily implementing sustainability programs and policies that are being awarded and duplicated by other businesses across the country. While others are embracing and supporting programs like BRING Recycling’s Rethink program, Love Food Not Waste and the mayor’s annual Bold Steps Award that are pioneering cross-sector collaboration that creates a lasting impact.
Our business community continues to make impacts and contributions to our region that drives overall economic prosperity and improves the quality of life. As companies thrive, they are growing the number of living-wage jobs and giving back with their time and financial contributions to nonprofits and charities in our community. Businesses are working alongside community partners in government and nonprofits in ways that are helping to gain national recognition--just ask the Lane County Sector Strategies team about the compliments they receive at national conferences. We are doing things differently and communities across the country are taking note.
Eugene is a perfect example of what happens when local people tackle local problems and, in the process, invent new solutions. Businesses are coming together to take ownership of this place we call home and are crafting a vision of the future, while solving community challenges in ways we’ve never seen. This work never ends--but, if done correctly moves us forward together, inch by inch, into something even better.
We want to hear from you. What does our best future look like? Use #ChamberEvolved to share your vision.
Enjoy the read? Check out more great content.