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Janna Clifton excited about chamber role

Janna Clifton is the retail and membership director at the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. Submitted photo

Janna Clifton of Jackson took on the role of retail and membership director at Jackson Missouri Area Chamber of Commerce in December, 2023. Her experience as Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization executive director and longtime manager for Buckle are assets that will prove beneficial in her new role.

Building retail sales is an important part of building the community. Clifton believes this is possible because, “We have a strong relationship with the City of Jackson.”

Three areas that are the focus for retail sales are Jackson Boulevard, Uptown Jackson and East Main Street-La Salle Avenue, she said. “East Main Street-La Salle Avenue has endless opportunities for exploration and growth.”

Clifton plans to work on connecting the right retailers to the city and just around the bend there will be announcements about potential upcoming retailers coming to Jackson.

Right now the big news is the launching of gojacksonmo.com, a website that went live Friday, June 21. It is set to promote tourism but will also be a place for “residents to visit and find out more about all the fun events in Jackson,” said Clifton.

So instead of getting information from various sources, this website will serve as a central clearinghouse for Jackson.

Promoting tourism is an aspect of the position that has Clifton super excited because of the pride she has for Jackson and the prospect of presenting a view that will be looked at through the eyes of visitors, potential residents, employees and investors. “If you have a place people want to visit, they may want to live, work and/or invest there,” she said.

“The first step was our new LED sign. This will post local events and create visitor interest. Secondly, the website, gojacksonmo.org is a way for everyone to know all the events and thirdly, a visitor packet is in the works,” said Clifton.

“We want to celebrate who we are,” said Clifton. “In addition to the events happening in Jackson there will be information on eateries and shops. This ties in with posts on Facebook, Instagram and the website’s blog.

“Aldi is a great example of connecting the right retailers to Jackson,” said Clifton. “The thing to remember is that nothing is immediate and that persistence pays off. We continue to push and network, connecting the right retailers to the right city.

“A lot of what we do here is connecting people,” said Clifton. Membership can be essential to businesses not only because of the chamber’s drive to stimulate economic growth and development, but members’ access to educational programming, marketing and promotion opportunities, community leadership initiatives, networking, referrals and support.

Since December, 2023, 46 new Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce members have been added. Clifton said, “We want to connect members with the benefits we offer. Understanding their business needs and making a custom fit to gain success is the goal.”

Announcements of the chamber’s plans to make future changes in their office will be forthcoming.

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