“Mind your own business.” It’s good advice in the proper context. Say for example that your neighbor leaves a freshly baked pie to cool on their window sill. You would very much like to have some of that pie, and are fairly sure your neighbor wouldn’t notice if a slice of it went missing. But you leave the pie be, because you espouse the spirit of good neighborliness Eden Prairie residents are world famous for.
You have successfully minded your own business – pielessly, sadly, but such is the high price of morality.
Minding your own business isn’t categorically advisable, however. You want to live where you are surrounded by goods and services. You want your brothers and sisters to remain gainfully employed. You want your city’s coffers laden with the stuff that pays school teachers, first responders, sanitation workers, and all the other public servants who make your neighborhood an excellent place to call home.
The Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce secures our town’s prosperity by minding its businesses. The non-profit organization enhances its members’ success through leadership, advocacy and growth opportunities, hosts over 100 programs, roundtable and networking discussions and industry-related workshops each year, and encompasses numerous subcommittees that forge rewarding connections between businesses and members of our community.
The chamber isn’t an empty hurrah for mercantilism. It is the embodiment of Eden Prairie’s collective determination to excel.
“At its heart, our mission is simple: to support our local business members by providing the resources, services and programs they need for success,” said Pat MulQueeny, president of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce. “Everything we do is in service of Eden Prairie’s economy. By strengthening it, we necessarily improve our community in turn.
“Many of our efforts are indistinguishable from pure entertainment. The Eatin’ Prairie Burger Battle, which we presented alongside First Western Bank & Trust last September, encouraged residents to try local restaurants’ special burgers and vote for their favorites. Our Women’s Committee regularly holds Purse Bingo nights at Fat Pants Brewing Co., and our annual golf tournaments have brought hundreds of people closer together while making business connections.
“The secondary benefits of these events are far from ulterior. Whether they’re spending money locally or helping us raise funding for our many programs, participants in our events are directly supporting our mission.
“We applaud our school district for honing extraordinary talent and work ethic in young people. We want their investment to pay off close to home, which is why one of our biggest goals is to help Eden Prairie’s students recognize the amazing opportunities awaiting them right here in their hometown. Lifelong residents of Eden Prairie take enormous pride in our city’s achievements, and represent a motivated workforce for local businesses that are finding increasing difficulty sourcing qualified, long-term team members.
“Our commitment to Eden Prairie students extends far beyond awarding them scholarships for STEM and entrepreneurship each year. We recently kicked off the 15th year of our Future Leaders Program, in which Eden Prairie High School seniors become members of the chamber. Participants attend our networking programs, find instructive internship, mentorship and job shadowing opportunities, and sharpen their professional skills by helping us arrange our own events such as the Home, Landscape and Garden Expo.
“Our annual Manufacturer’s Tour gives students an up-close look at many of the exciting careers in marketing, finance, design and engineering that Eden Prairie offers. Our annual Career and College Expo introduces over 1,000 students to nearby colleges and dozens of great local employers like C. H. Robinson, Harland Medical Systems, MTS Systems and SCHEELS. And by hosting the Eden Prairie High School Job Fair, we foster even more enriching connections between students and local businesses, encouraging a robust local workforce.
“The chamber serves everyone who would like to succeed in business – not just students. Our Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp welcomes everyone to learn about business plan creation, accounting, marketing, social media, human resources and other essential facets of entrepreneurialism straight from local experts. Our bimonthly Business@Breakfast networking events allow each attendee to introduce themself and the value they offer to a large group of like-minded individuals. And if you join us at one of our PowHer Hour networking events, you’re certain to create meaningful relationships with fellow women in business who can help advance your career in the right direction.
“Mayor Ron Case once described Eden Prairie as a three-legged stool. It stands on responsible city governance, an exceptional school system, and a strong business community. We take great pride in our efforts to bolster one of those all-important legs, and are grateful to see the fruits of our labor shining through wherever we go in our city.”
The Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce currently has over 300 members which represent more than 30,000 Twin Cities employees. If you would like to learn more about joining the chamber, supporting its mission, or attending any of its upcoming events and programs, then you are welcome to learn more at epchamber.org.
Lead. Advocate. Prosper.