A New Tool in the Toolbox

25 Jun 2015

In addition to trade shows, a new web site and targeted advertising, the Phelps County Development Corporation has a new tool in its box to help recruit businesses to the county.


The PCDC board approved a contract with the Community Venture Network, a Minnesota-based company that matches high-growth businesses with economic development professionals seeking to attract companies to their communities.


The network identifies companies in manufacturing, distribution, technology, medical and alternative energy who are looking to expand or relocate. The companies would employ between 2 and 200 people.


According to the network’s web site, many businesses are seeking locations that will result in lower operating costs and labor rates, attractive financial incentives and unified community support.


“Too often, however, the community and the business never find each other,” the site states.


The PCDC board approved spending $4,250 for a one-year membership into the Community Venture Network. That will include three meetings and exposure to 24 emerging companies.


PCDC Executive Director Monica Boyken said that three times a year, the network hosts a ‘Shark-Tank’ style meeting where rural economic development groups will hear presentations from eight companies.


Only 30 development groups are invited to the presentations, and now Phelps County will be represented. After that, PCDC staff and volunteers go back to the table to decide if any of those businesses would be a good match for Phelps County.


The new network is just one of the marketing tools PCDC is using to help promote the county’s 134-acre Business & Industry Park. PCDC has already advertised the site in trade magazines and created a web site (www.phelpscountyne.com) that is directed toward businesses looking to invest or do business in Phelps County.


In addition, Boyken has attended trade shows, where typically larger businesses are represented.


“We are coming at our marketing in different ways,” Boyken said. “We are taking on the big boys when we can and then looking at these small growing businesses.”


Boyken said because the Business & Industry Park has railroad access and a central United States location, it would be a good fit for the plastics, manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing industries.


By Kristine Jacobson for PCDC