The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and St. Johns County hosted a community roundtable for creators, manufacturers and sellers of Locally Made products and services to gather input on better supporting these businesses and entrepreneurs. Supporting local artisans and product creators is essential for fostering economic growth and promoting unique handmade goods.
Scott Maynard, vice president of Economic Development with the Chamber, said, "Our goal is to significantly contribute to the growth and success of local artisans and product creators, enriching the local economy and cultural landscape."
The Chamber utilized the roundtable to learn more about these groups' specific challenges and how to support them better. From the discussion, it was clear that St. Augustine and St. Johns County strongly support the arts, but there needs to be more communication between the different organizations.
One need is to identify a central point of focus where information can be gathered and exchanged on the services, programs and events taking place. There is a need for performance space for all genres, affordable studio and classroom space, maker space for developing products and places to display and sell locally made products.
Other ideas included:
Implementing these ideas also allows tourists to quickly identify which products are certified as locally made. The Chamber is excited to continue work on this project.
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