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Pickerington program works with local businesses
Pickerington is working with The Ohio State University to create a Business Retention and Expansion program that will open lines of communication with the local business community.
The Ohio Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) Initiative is sponsored by The Ohio State University Extension and managed within the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
“The concept of business retention and expansion has been an integral part of comprehensive economic development programs for years,” said Susan Crotty, Pickerington’s development services director. “Studies have shown that the majority of jobs created in a community come from existing rather than new businesses, so it is important to ensure that the business climate and services in a city support the success of existing local businesses.”
The BR&E program includes a number of activities intended to improve communication between city government and existing businesses in Pickerington, and to help city officials better understand the needs of the business community.
“By reaching out to the local business leaders, we hope to improve the business climate and help businesses thrive and grow in Pickerington,” Crotty said.
The program is largely administered by the Development Services Department, but involves all city officials, she said
The Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce and the OPVBA are is integral to the success of the program.
The city of Pickerington’s goal is to get every local business involved, Crotty said. City officials are working to compile a list of all the businesses in the city.
“It is challenging to ensure we have all appropriate contacts for hundreds of businesses,” she said. “We would especially like to have current e-mail addresses for our business contacts. If business leaders do not hear directly from us in the near future, they are encouraged to call or e-mail us with their updated contact information.”
Crotty said she will work with the Ohio BR&E Initiative this month to develop and distribute surveys for the business community. Other aspects of the program, such as the Breakfast with the Mayor events and business visits, already are in progress.
Crotty said a BR&E program became a goal of the Development Services Department in 2010, and aspects of the program that require funding were included during the planning process for the 2011 budget.
“The program is important because the success and growth of our local businesses is critically important to the overall health of the city,” Crotty said. “ The business community provides jobs, goods and services, and funding in the form of tax revenue to support municipal services.”
Funding for the program covers the cost of the software that is needed to compile data and organize information on the Pickerington business community and for technical assistance provided by The Ohio State University’s Ohio BR&E Initiative. The funding was allocated in the city’s 2011 budget.
“A BR&E program has a positive impact on the community because it helps keep local businesses here and growing, thereby creating jobs for our community,” Crotty said.
More information on The Ohio State University’s BR&E Initiative can be found at http://localecon.osu.edu/BRnE/.
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