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Scott Muelrath has served as President and CEO of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce since 2011. Under his leadership, the HCC has expanded its valley-wide membership base by nearly 200% and grown its budget by 400%.
In 2022, the Chamber reopened Launchpad, formerly known as the Henderson Business Resource Center, to assist micro and start-up businesses establish themselves. It is the longest running business incubator in Nevada, and it offers short-term, all-inclusive leases in a fully refurbished office environment to foster and develop the next generation of entrepreneurial dreams.
In the same year, Muelrath was honored with the Urban Entrepreneurial Spirit Award of the Year by the Nevada District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and was named Non-Profit Executive of the Year for the 29th Silver State Awards.
In addition to his role at the Chamber, Muelrath serves on the City of Henderson Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force and the President’s Advisory Committee for Nevada State College.
1) What are some of the challenges small and mid size businesses in the community are facing currently?
Workforce shortage continues to be problematic for the business community, both large and small. While this worker shortage pressure is easing slightly with the economic slowdown, it continues to adversely impact production, from construction to restaurants and everything in between; it is evident everywhere. Inflation is obviously problematic as well, although the southern Nevada economy is still spending its way forward.
2) How is the Chamber helping businesses to solve those challenges?
Information and advocacy. The HCC is engaged on the front lines of workforce development and ongoing diversification efforts by working with our education system and workforce boards and committees to connect the dots on job training and linkage to our education system, especially in the higher education space. In turn, keeping our members and the community informed of these advocacy efforts and opportunities while focusing on workforce in the 2023 legislative session.
3) What are the booming business industries in Henderson? What kind of businesses are relocating or expanding to Henderson?
The HCC specifically has a long history supporting manufacturing in our community. Manufacturing to support the war efforts in the 1940s is what founded Henderson as a City. Growing and supporting the advanced manufacturing industry is a regional focus, and our Henderson Development Association, the HCC’s economic development committee, is actively engaged on this front. Additionally, new micro-businesses are springing up everywhere, and our business incubator, Launchpad, is specifically built to support micro business development.
4) How do you implement diversity and inclusion initiatives in your organization and the Henderson business community?
It starts with your Board leadership. From our Chairman to the work of our Nominating Committees who develop candidates to serve in our organization, diversity is a key focus. From ethnicity to gender to business size, our Boards (and we have 4 of them) must be built to reflect our membership and community. We are especially proud of our Launchpad tenant base which is comprised primarily of minority, woman and veteran owned businesses. Our corporate sponsors have funded rent grant opportunities to benefit disadvantaged business start-ups.
5) How do you see the chamber changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
The Henderson Chamber is a progressive and forward-thinking organization, developing new initiatives and programs that are unique and member-focused. The next two years will hopefully be steady and predictable, something our business environment has lacked in recent years. With that stability, economic growth will continue, and we are organizationally poised to lead that growth, from advocacy to healthcare to networking to charitable service.