The Charles County Department of Economic Development (EDD) is working to improve the lines of communication with our business community, through the launch of our first “2015 Charles County Business Survey.” We envision the survey acting as a sounding board for businesses in our community to voice their valuable opinions to the economic development team. The responses will allow us to tailor our resources to better address business needs and forge stronger relationships within the County.
An open and transparent dialogue and ongoing communication between an economic development team and its business community are key to helping existing businesses succeed. Both Richmond, VA and Cleveland, OH are examples of locations that have successfully conducted similar business visitation initiatives and/or surveys and uncovered a number of significant findings about their local business economies, including the importance of talent attraction and retention, sales and growth opportunities and business trends.
Cleveland’s efforts have resulted in 2,010 jobs created, 3,492 jobs retained, 406,600 square feet of real estate developed and $208 million of capital invested. In Richmond, information collected during the survey process was used to direct resources and assistance to those companies in need.
Even more important than uncovering findings, these visitation surveys and initiatives benefit the entire community. Such initiatives allow the economic development department to identify concerns or areas of interest, better articulate and quantify the overall needs of the business community and more effectively focus on issues that matter most to local businesses. Not only have these surveys established an open dialogue with local businesses, they have also created a better understanding of business needs in the community and shown what can be done to improve the business climate. Business retention surveys have also facilitated significant job creation and retention and helped stimulate capital investment and commercial real estate development.
We are excited about the launch of the 2015 Business Survey and look forward to the insights it will reveal. If you are a local business owner we want to hear from you. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey.