The Charles County Economic Development Department is growing, with an even bigger focus on our existing businesses – also known as business retention and expansion.
Back in 2015, the Economic Development Department (EDD) 5-Year Strategic Plan called for 2 new positions, including a BRE Manager. Job descriptions were created, but those positions were never funded. Knowing how important it is to have a person dedicated to connecting with and supporting our local businesses, EDD leadership carved a little bit of funding out of our operating budget to help pay for this new position. The County Administrator approved it, and the Charles County Board of Commissioners fully funded the position to begin in FY ’22.
Meet Anthony Adesina
Anthony Adesina joined the EDD in January 2022 as our new Business Retention and Expansion Manager. His responsibilities include engaging with our existing businesses here in the county, supporting business growth and retention, helping businesses tap new markets domestically and internationally, and promoting Charles County as a viable business destination. Business Retention and Expansion is consistent with the Commissioners’ Economic Development Goals and Objectives that include a focus on resources for our businesses.
Anthony brings with him knowledge of international trade and working with local businesses to achieve export readiness to global markets. Prior to joining the EDD, he worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration/Global Markets (ITA/GM) Business Unit where he managed domestic and global business growth and expansion projects on behalf of U.S. businesses across Nigeria and the Sub-Sahara Africa region.
A native of Nigeria, Anthony and his family moved to Charles County in November 2021 from Hampton, Virginia. In his words, “moving into Charles County opened up my eyes to what the county has to offer. The school ratings were some of the deciding factors for us moving into Charles County. They had the highest rating of all Maryland Counties we had looked at. The diversity of local businesses, culture, people, ambience, and an enabling environment for our child to grow further helped finalize our move into Charles County.”
Short-term and Long-term Goals
“My short-term goals [in this position] are to start meeting and engaging with Charles County businesses, understanding their challenges, and identifying solutions to get them where they need to be,” said Anthony. “My immediate focus will be on businesses new to the county, and gradually extend that to existing businesses that have been in the county for some time.” The EDD’s Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) team has created a welcome letter that will start going out to new and existing businesses, using data from the Department of Planning and Growth Management. “It [the letter] is one small way of showing the appreciation of the Economic Development Department and the Board of Commissioners for those businesses that chose Charles County as a place to call home.”
Anthony will also reach out to businesses to introduce our department and our economic development partners and make businesses aware of the services and resources available in the community. “It’s important to let them know how the EDD can help them. Those are some tools we’re using for the short-term engagement,” said Anthony.
Given his international trade background, Anthony will also support the County’s efforts in revisiting several global trade and expansion initiatives, as well as promote the viability of Charles County businesses to export to Africa, which is something that was started before the COVID pandemic.
For the long term, Anthony wants to be able to be able to speak with businesses on a first name basis and build ongoing relationships. He envisions the EDD as a resource that businesses will go to first when they’re expanding in the county or looking for help with managing and growing their businesses. And the feedback he gets from his interaction with businesses will help the EDD continue to respond to business needs.
It’s well known in economic development circles that 80% of a community’s economic growth will come from the businesses that already exist or are started in that community. Anthony Adesina, the EDD’s Business Retention and Expansion Manager, will enhance our ability to serve those businesses and help them contribute to Charles County’s economic future. We wish him the best!