Greater St. Louis, Inc., the voice of the 15-county St. Louis metro’s civic-minded business community, partnered today with a group of more than 20 local and regional chambers of commerce from across the St. Louis region to host the first regional Economic Outlook Breakfast.

“A unified network of chambers of commerce and small businesses is critical to economic growth in the St. Louis metro,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc. “We are excited to partner with this broad and diverse group of local chambers of commerce for this event and look forward to a robust conversation on how we can work together to support small businesses, grow our economy, and continue the resurgence that is building across our metro.”

The event featured presentations by Hall and Stefani Pashman, CEO, of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a nearly 80-year-old organization focused on economic growth and quality of life for the 10 counties of southwest Pennsylvania that comprise the Pittsburgh metro area.

“In today’s global economy, regions are competing against regions for business investment and talent to create prosperity. As a proud graduate of Washington University, I’m excited to return to find partners across metro St. Louis pursuing a more regional approach to enhancing your economy and quality of place, and to share lessons learned from our similar journey in Pittsburgh, where we have successfully worked together to build a next generation economy for all,” said Pashman.

A panel discussion — featuring Joan Daleo, President and CEO, Ole Tyme Produce; Arrey Obenson, President and CEO, International Institute of St. Louis; Tim Schoenecker, Dean Emeritus of the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville School of Business; and Sam Murphey, Chief Strategy Officer, Greater St. Louis, Inc. — focused on the importance of small businesses to the growth of the St. Louis metro.

The panelists highlighted different aspects of small business growth across the St. Louis metro, including the challenges immigrants face as they try to open and sustain businesses, the impact small businesses have on the regional economy, and the perspective of a small business owner in scaling up their business. Greater St. Louis, Inc. discussed its stewardship of the STL 2030 Jobs Plan, which includes several initiatives focused on supporting and growing small businesses.

Local chambers of commerce partnering with Greater St. Louis, Inc. to host the event are: Affton-Lemay Chamber of Commerce, African Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis, Arnold Chamber of Commerce, Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, Clayton Chamber of Commerce, Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce, Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater North County Chamber of Commerce, Heartland St. Louis Black Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro St. Louis, Kirkwood-Des Peres Area Chamber of Commerce, O’Fallon (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce, Riverbend Growth Association, Southwest Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Charles Regional Chamber, St. Louis Arts Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Afghan Chamber of Commerce, Webster/Rock Hill/Shrewsbury Area Chamber of Commerce, and West St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce.