Client ChallEnge: Board of Director Don't See Eye to Eye

City Chamber of Commerce, California


A Board of Directors could not reach an agreement on whether to support or not a shopping mall development on the western side of the city, as this shopping center represented a threat to mom & pop small businesses located on the east side of the town. Unitive Consulting was brought to develop a mediative facilitation strategy among non-profit organizations, businesses, corporate developers, and constituents.

Part of the strategy was to facilitate, with mediative systems, monthly community meetings in an open forum wherein community members, developers, non-profit organizations, and business owners could meet to discuss the opportunities and challenges that the shopping center could bring to the community.

Some of the recommendations in the brainstorming session of these meetings included suggestions to invite the Small Business Development Center to provide business skills workshops for small businesses to develop competitive strategies to keep the businesses open. It was agreed by most people to support the economic development of the town, for the shopping center would increase the revenue on property taxes that would benefit the community.

The Board of Directors was able to evaluate the entire community’s needs. With the mediation process that Unitive Consulting provided, the board decided unanimously to support the development of the new shopping center. They all realized that the new shopping center represented positive economic development for the city. This would bring more tax revenue that ultimately could help revamp the eastern side of the town to make it more attractive for tourists, which would eventually increase the sales of the mom & pop businesses.

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