It is an old marketing adage that it costs a business less to invest in existing customers than to go out and try to find brand-new ones. This is true for many reasons, but the most fundamental among them is that anything that is succeeding should be nurtured. It is just this way of thinking that is behind the VIP or Volunteers in Progress program made in a partnership between the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Board of Blount County.

As explained at the Chamber’s website, the VIP program focuses on “Keeping Good Company,” but actually means “companies,” as the focus of the program is to retain successful businesses in the area and support their ongoing growth, expansion and stability.

Beyond Borders

Interestingly enough, both organizations know that they need to look beyond county borders, and even national borders to recognize the companies playing (or that might play) a positive role in the area’s growth and success. Recruitment and retention focuses at the local, national and international levels. By enrolling in the program, you are showing you believe that this approach is right for the region.

As stated on the site, the VIP program “members make a vital commitment to the economic development efforts of our region through their additional investment in the Chamber. They help maintain and assist in the expansion efforts of companies already located in Blount County. VIPs help enable the Chamber and the Economic Development Board to recruit quality business and industry to our region.”

Benefits of VIP Membership

While the rewards for this include ensuring the ongoing growth and stability of the region, it also comes with a few nice perks. One of the most significant is the showcasing and promotion of VIP businesses to existing and new businesses and industries in the region. Membership also means exclusive networking events throughout the calendar year, and an array of both social and professional gatherings meant to help shape and direct the community over the coming years.

Current membership includes such entities as the City of Maryville, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville College, ATMOS Energy, the City of Alcoa and dozens upon dozens more. There are seven levels of commitment, ranging from Platinum Premier to the Classic Level, and businesses of all kinds are encouraged to consider participating in this key and effective initiative.

When you want to play an even greater role in bringing the mission of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Board of Blount County to life, you can turn to the innovative VIP program. When you do, you are assured that you will be able to “keep good company,” or more appropriately, the very best company in the region’s business world.