How Existing Businesses Increase Regional Growth
A project originates from many places, 80 to 90 percent of projects come from businesses already located within our region or because of the local company’s connections, acquisitions, supply chain and such. These include expansions, relocations, or the hiring of additional staff to accommodate increased products or additional services. More times than most would assume, business will relocate into our region due to an established relationship with a business already located here.
These reasons are why economic development organizations need to have concerted efforts on staying connected to businesses in their regions. Therefore, the RAEDC meets with a minimum of 125 companies each year, to understand these opportunities as well as having an overall view of industry trends and workforce trends. It is our mission not only to market the region outside of the region but also to assist those businesses within our region.
Additional projects come from pure attraction efforts of enticing a business into the region. This could be an effort to strengthen an existing supply chain or an effort to diversify into a new supply chain that compliments the existing businesses located in our region. There are many moving pieces and people who work together to attract a business. This includes people who work for municipalities, the State of Illinois, economic development organizations, statistical and data organizations, site selectors or real estate professionals, and the business itself.
Once the Request for Information (RFI) is received the region must determine how to best highlight and differentiate our region and why the Rockford Region is Your Opportunity Region. Recent requests have trended on workforce being one of the top priorities, an asset this region excels.
No two projects are the same, even within the same industry there are different requirements and considerations. The exciting part is demonstrating why the Rockford Region is Your Opportunity Region for each project.
The RAEDC often works behind the scenes due to the confidential nature of business projects. Big deals take time; the average time from start to completion on a project win is 329 days, with some projects lasting more than three years!
This was previously published in The Voice.