Why implement a Business Retention and Expansion Strategy? Some of the key reasons for approaching community revitalization in this way include:

  • 40% to 90% of new jobs created in the community come from existing businesses. These existing businesses are the ones who have built our economy to the level of success it is today.
  • Attracting future businesses is unlikely to be successful if existing businesses are not happy.
  • It is less costly to retain existing jobs than to attract new businesses and jobs.
  • A means of establishing economic development priorities.
  • An opportunity for improved communication with the business community.
  • Immediate response to business issues and concerns.
  • Increases local direct employment and retain skills and expertise in our community.

Building relationships with the business community through a structured and systematic approach can lead to quick economic development wins as well as more effective planning strategies.

Recommendations to begin a Business Retention and Expansion Strategy:

  1. Recommendation 1 – The Survey
    1. Firm Visits: A proven survey tailored to local businesses is used for the interviews.
    2. Immediate Follow-up: A local leadership team reviews the survey and responds to the immediate needs and concerns expressed.
    3. Strategic Planning: Professionals analyze the survey information and prepare a report.
    4. Implementation: The action planning process fosters the development of local implementation teams.
  2. Recommendation 2 – Service Best
    Development of opportunities to foster initiatives already ongoing within the business community and undertaking the development of a community of exemplary service as a whole.
  3. Recommendation 3 – Economic Impact Control
    Any business wanting to come into our community must do a community impact study as part of the zoning approval process.
  4. Recommendation 4 – Branding
    Build on the strengths of the past and continue to actively promote and support the “Olds Fashioned” theme. This will empower our marketing and promotion of our business community on a regional, national, and worldwide market.

Business Retention and Expansion is an economic development strategy that can be instrumental in strengthening relationships between the business sector and the community, while at the same time aiding in the development of a prosperous economy. Taking care of existing businesses is just good business.