Friday, September 20, 2019

Chamber Pushes for Passage of USMCA Trade Agreement

Posted by: Jeff Rea, President & CEO, South Bend Regional Chamber on Friday, September 20, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Last week, I was in Washington, D.C. with Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, United States Representative, for an update on the USMCA Trade agreement. The agreement is one of the Chamber’s top federal priorities and should be considered by Congress some time later this year.

Lighthizer commented, “Without question, the USMCA is the strongest and most advanced trade agreement ever negotiated. The agreement rebalances our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada in a way that benefits American workers and it modernizes the rules of trade among our countries to reflect the needs of our 21st century economy.”

In 2018, United States trade with Mexico and Canada totaled more than $1.4 trillion and supported 12 million jobs. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement offers certainty for future investment in North America, builds on market access that was created by NAFTA and enhances protections for new market opportunities. Mexico has already ratified USMCA – the time is now for Congress to act!

In Indiana, one out of four manufacturing firms do business in Canada or Mexico. 75% of those firms are small-medium sized businesses. Currently, 233,600 Indiana jobs are supported by trade with Mexico and Canada. More than 61,900 of those are manufacturing jobs. Those jobs have an average wage of $75,000.  Indiana companies exported more than $19.2 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2017.

I was honored to join many of my chamber colleagues from around the country for this important conversation with Ambassador Lighthizer. We’re grateful for his work advancing this important agreement, it is critical to the Indiana economy and our region. We’re hopeful Congress will act soon to move this agreement forward and give companies in our region and across the state some comfort as they plan for future growth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Change is Hard. What is Momentum?

Posted by: Shari Carroll
Director, Marketing Communications
South Bend Regional Chamber> on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)
Shari Carroll

Change can be hard. But after 16 years of presenting a Business Expo, it was time to give our businesses in the South Bend Region a new experience. Say goodbye to Business Expo and hello to Momentum. Consider Momentum more of a gathering where you can make catalytic connections and businesses and organizations collide to showcase their forward-thinking ideas by exhibiting and thought leaders deliver helpful 20 to 30-minute Rally Sessions on a variety of topics helpful to business professionals. 

What we think is pretty awesome is the use of the word Momentum to describe this gathering. We think our region has Momentum. Let's face it, South Bend has made national headlines for its presidential candidate, Garth Brooks concert at Notre Dame Stadium, U.S. Senior Open golf tournament, and every home Notre Dame football game. Our community is getting national, even global attention. Let's capture that--led by our business community--and celebrate! C'mon, let's toot our own horn!

To help you understand Momentum even more, we've developed FAQs to answer your questions. With partners like Centier Bank, South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership, IDEA Center at Notre Dame, IT Sector Partnership, HR Collaboration Group and more, we're well on our way to making the October 29 Momentum gathering one of those FMO events!


It’s the Chamber’s Business Expo but bigger and better! Think of it as Expo 2.0. We’ve tweaked and tucked our former Business Expo to create a different kind of gathering and new experience for you.

It’s a hybrid of a B2B B2C trade show combined with the energy and feel of a street fair. You’ll experience exhibitors, speakers, catalytic connections and fun!

Because we want to tap into the energy and movement happening in the region. Don’t you feel it? We do. Let’s capture it, celebrate it and tie it into businesses who are leading the momentum.

Heck yes! Are you a forward-thinking company? What makes you unique? How are you doing things differently to stay relevant and offer solutions? Are you innovative? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you have Momentum, and you need to exhibit.


No. To be innovative and forward-thinking doesn’t necessarily mean you are a tech company, but you might use technology to move your company forward. If you are part of the fabric of this business community, and you are growing and evolving, collaborating with others to make a difference, showcase your efforts at Momentum.


We are using both the Convention Hall and Discovery Ballroom at the Century Center. While the Convention Hall will be filled with exhibitors, we will have a few block areas of industry concentration, such as The LIFT Network Innovation District, IDEA Park by IDEA Center and IT Sector Partnership. The Block Party in the middle will provide a fun, social experience for exhibitors and attendees to continue to connect. Across the way, Discovery Ballroom will welcome speakers offering their expertise in 20 to 30 minute Rally Sessions. Also, new is a YPN event within Momentum! That’s right, YPs will be participating in the ever-popular Big Talk YPN event.

These are sponsored areas of industry or sector concentrations. You’ll see the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnerships LIFT Network Innovation District, IDEA Park by IDEA Center and the IT Sector Partnership, with more blocks to come. These areas help to tell a story. Only exhibitors selected by the block host will be included in a specified block area. Other exhibitors will be placed appropriately throughout the Convention Hall.


This year we are thrilled to partner with the South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership and IDEA Center at Notre Dame to widen our message and influence. They are sharing Momentum with their customers via email and social media marketing. Plus, we’re hitting it hard with our social media, in addition to communication to our member contacts and coverage on radio, TV and print.

If you are exhibiting, we encourage you to also display and talk about your Momentum Moment.

Every business has a story. And every story has a Momentum Moment—the tipping point that launched a business into a new endeavor. Someone quit their job to start their own business. That’s a Momentum Moment. A business added a new service that took sales across the $1M. That’s a Momentum Moment. A foundation came together to spark new ideas in a stale environment. That’s a Momentum Moment. A new innovative app was developed to streamline your customers' experience. That's a Momentum Moment. You get the idea. We can’t wait to watch people connect over these stories during Momentum.

We’ll use this content to not only market Momentum but also market you through our website and social media platforms.

To give our attendees and you the best possible experience, we need to view the show in its entirety. Keeping in mind not to have competitive companies beside one another. We look at traffic flow, engagement opportunities, aesthetics and other factors to present the right look and feel for the Momentum gathering.


Momentum IS:

  • Where businesses connect with like-minded collaborators
  • An inspirational event with speakers from forward-thinking companies
  • Your place to network, learn about regional businesses and explore how to build your own momentum

For questions, contact Briana Stiner at 574.400.4010, or view the Momentum Landing Page.