Connecting the Dots

by Nathan Bryant, President & CEO of the RAEDC

Nathan Bryant - President and CEO of the RAEDC
Nathan Bryant, President & CEO of the RAEDC

The work of economic development is often misunderstood. How can an organization which doesn’t own real estate, construct buildings, lend money, approve projects, provide education, or directly provide financial incentives drive effective change? The answer – by connecting the dots.

Company growth is stressful for business owners and with each step new challenges are presented. This leaves companies wrestling with the combination of cash-flow constraints, growing capital demands, and personnel challenges on top of what is already a rapidly changing business environment. This becomes particularly challenging when company growth forces decisions about machinery, equipment, facility constraints, operations, site location, and the like.

Small and medium-sized companies face drastically different challenges compared to large corporations. Small and medium-sized business owners wear multiple hats directly leading sales, marketing, finance, payroll, human resources, quality assurance, and simply being the chief executive. This is particularly difficult because business owners can’t be experts in each of these areas and become spread too thin over time.   

Larger companies have a completely different dynamic. Often there are executives leading teams of personnel in specific areas of the corporation. Departments such as marketing, payroll, and human resources function as separate small units within a larger corporation that have a reporting structure back to the Chief Executive Officer. This scenario is further complicated when large companies have multiple locations spread throughout the country or even the world. A promotion for an individual executive often entails relocation to a different facility or jumping from one department to another. Decision making can be cumbersome as approvals flow through departments, executives, and ultimately the Chief Executive Officer.

In all cases, small, medium, and large companies benefit when experts assist in making critical connections at the right time. Enter the economic development experts from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (the RAEDC). Did you know that the experts at the RAEDC have over 50 years of combined professional experience assisting companies of all sizes? The RAEDC has expertise with local, state, and federal incentives, paired together with extensive real estate, construction, development, engineering, and municipal permitting packaged in a comprehensive analysis. Additionally, the experts at the RAEDC understand the complexities and delicate nuances associated with negotiating public-private partnerships to a successful outcome.

The RAEDC worked extensively with Spider Company to find the optimal building location to suit the expanding operations of this exceptional aerospace company within the region. After an exhaustive regional search, the RAEDC assisted Spider Company in acquiring the former Menards facility on IL Route 173 in Machesney Park, which had been sitting vacant for over 10 years. According to Tom Diehl, owner of Spider Company, “The RAEDC team provided excellent service for Spider Company, assisting with the evaluation of our building, understanding how and if certain incentives could apply, and providing exceptional market intel at the right moment. Together with the Village of Machesney Park, the RAEDC helped my company expand in the region.”

The RAEDC’s work is often not in the spotlight, but the results are clear. The RAEDC cohesively connects the dots between regional municipal partners constructing win/win solutions that benefit all involved. Tim Savage the Village Manager for Machesney Park explained, “Much of the RAEDC’s involvement is behind the scenes connecting the dots. Their work expedites the process for companies, especially when critical decisions are made. The region has an exceptional partner in the RAEDC for the growth of Winnebago County.”

“Companies that are entertaining expansion or relocation, utilize the help provided by the RAEDC to make sense of all the variables associated with these types of projects, which then maximizes the desired impact of their project,” said Patrick Morrow, Senior Vice President for Rockford Bank & Trust.

The RAEDC excels with complexity while offering speed to market solutions across multiple disciplines. When juggling unexpected challenges during the consolidation of multiple business locations Danny Pearse, President and Owner of Quantum Design knew exactly who to turn to for help. He said, “The RAEDC helped guide our business decision with great insight into real estate, incentives, financial analysis, construction, and municipal coordination”.

The RAEDC is key to succeeding in Your Opportunity Region. Let our experts use their combined 50 years of experience for your benefit. Please contact us at 815-987-8118 to see how the RAEDC can expedite your investment within the region.