June 29, 2015
The week of July 13th to the 17th is quickly approaching. We have several time slots still available for a Know Ashland, Grow Ashland Business Visit. For those of you that have already scheduled your visit or if you haven’t yet because you don’t know what to expect this article will lay out our goals and what you can expect from these visits.
Q: Who conducts the business walks?
A: Ashland Area Council for Economic Development staff and stakeholders will help conduct these visits. Two volunteers will visit you at your location. These volunteers could be a staff member, an elected official from the City of Ashland and Ashland County, a Mohican Area Growth Foundation board member, a workforce specialist, a utility provider, a local bankers or a retired friend of economic development.
Q: What is covered in a business walk?
A: Our volunteers will have a list of topics to ask the business owners, but the business owner will ultimately direct the conversation. The conversation topics include local business climate, growth and expansion, local workforce, local utilities and government services, quality of life, and challenges and opportunities. The business owner can focus on as many or as few topics they wish. The visit should be about 30 minutes, but we’d love to hear all that you have to say no matter how long it takes.
Q: Who sees the information provided by the business owner?
A: Each of the volunteers filled out a confidentiality agreement to conduct these visits. The information shared with the volunteers stays between the employer, AACED, and available, relevant resources. The results will be compiled into a report and shared with our investors and stakeholders to show the trends and overall business climate in Ashland. However specific responses will not be shared.
Q: How does a business visit benefit the company?
A: A business visit benefits a company in several ways. Read this article for more information. Businesses who participate in a business visit are more likely to be aware of the available local, regional, state and federal resources and incentives. Hosting a business visit allows business owners to share their stories with the community. Your story may be a story with lots of struggles or tremendous success. Sharing your story may help other businesses with similar situations. Our goal is to find a few commonalities between our businesses and form focus groups, so that we can address the needs of our businesses. These business visits not only benefit the employers, but also AACED. The more we know about Ashland, the more we can help it grow.
Q: How are these visits different from last year?
A: They aren’t! Last year AACED visited 42 manufacturers and asked similar questions. This year AACED opened up the business visits to all industries. We conduct these visits to understand Ashland’s business climate and create trends. Having a broader understanding of our county is important to our office and to the success of the Ashland area.
If you have more questions about Know Ashland, Grow Ashland please contact Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-289-3200.