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Innovation has always been key to opportunity. I hit the road to capture entrepreneurs in action.
A loss in sales can deflate a business. That’s why innovation keys success – even for a company in the business of inflatable beach balls, 20-foot-tall Jurassic Park T-Rexes or blow-up Pringles cans.
Alexandria, Virginia-based Jet Creations doesn’t just rely on decades-old manufacturing methods to compete in the inflatables industry. With careful customer feedback and new technology, the company is creating products that can sustain 300 pounds of weight and contain lighting for nighttime pool parties. Some of their inventions can be controlled by remote control and include sound.
Carlton Phillips, the owner of Virginia-based Prince William Marina, has his own economic indicator of consumer confidence: If the public isn’t comfortable spending, his business feels it.
And spending is definitely down these days with his boating business. The marina now generates about half the revenue of 10 years ago, meaning Phillips is unable to pay for upgrades to his facilities – something needed to keep up with competitors.
There’s an energy renaissance in the air along the Texas plains.
Energy innovation is in motion across the plains of Texas. Need proof? See the 400-plus wind turbines in Capricorn Ridge, in the central part of the state.
The turbines are under the watchful eye of technicians who work for Chamber member NextEra Energy. The round-the-clock operation ensures wind-generated electricity continues to flow for parent company Florida Power and Light.
Dennis Drennan, a respected orthopedic surgeon, has learned from experience that if you can’t find a solution to a problem, innovation can be the answer.
Back in the 1970s, Drennan realized he didn’t have a solution to prevent so-called heel pressure ulcers, or sores -- a common ailment for some bedridden patients. He created an answer, patented a signature heel lift boot (http://www.heelift.com), and began to market the product in his spare time. Evanston, Illinois-based DM Systems, a U.S. Chamber member, was born.
If you want to know the importance of Congress reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, just ask Bobby Patton.
The CEO of Patton Electronics Co., a communications equipment manufacturer in Gaithersburg, Maryland, says his business would be forced to shrink by 70 percent if the bank shuts down. Congress has until June 30 to act.
ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance, who has witnessed firsthand the evolution of his industry, sits down for an exclusive talk during his recent visit to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
It is no secret that affordable and reliable energy is the backbone of our nation's economy, enabling businesses and industry to grow and produce high-paying jobs for American workers.