3 Things an Economic Development Officer Can Do for Local Businesses
Economic Development Officers like you are experts in economic development strategies and resources for the community as a whole and for local businesses; but not everyone will know your purpose.
In order for businesses to come to you for guidance, networking opportunities, and to benefit from the resources to which you have access, they need to know what you can do for them. Here are three things EDOs can do for local businesses.
Don't assume that local businesses know that you can help them. Many entrepreneurs and businesses don't know what an EDO is, what connections you may have, or how you can help. For example, a business may need R&D assistance but if they don't know what an EDO does, they won’t know that an EDO can connect them with post-secondary institutions doing R&D that may benefit them.
Or maybe local businesses have erroneous assumptions about who can access the EDOs in their community. For example, one common misconception is that all EDOs are focused on attracting foreign investment and therefore local concerns would not be a priority. EDOs need to let local business stakeholders know that this is not true. While regional EDOs and those attached to large municipalities have the capacity to do Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), EDOs attached to smaller or rural municipalities would likely not do this. And whether you, the Economic Development Officer, are involved in FDI or not, let people know that EDOs are available to local businesses.
Let local business stakeholders know that ensuring the growth and prosperity of their business is also your business.
2. Create Networking Opportunities
There's no need for unfriendly competition in the business community; everyone can learn from each other. EDOs can create networking opportunities for businesses, either face-to-face or online, to help local business stakeholders connect with others who may share similar values, goals or interests. Entrepreneurs contemplating a new business opportunity may also find these networking opportunities useful. Creating network opportunities helps people get in contact with each other for support and may even open possibilities for mutually beneficial business arrangements; these networking opportunities also help Economic Development Officers learn more about local business needs.
3. Conduct a BR+E Program
To truly understand the businesses in your community, conduct a BR+E program. A BR+E program will give you insight into the strengths of local businesses and the challenges that they may be facing. A BR+E program that offers accurate, relevant data will allow EDOs to strategically support, nurture and grow local businesses for a more robust local economy.
MDB Insight’s Triage BR+ETM takes the pulse of the businesses in your local community to give you the data you need to act strategically to improve the overall health of local businesses. Triage BR+ETM provides:
- Real-time data, so your information is always up to date
- Local information, so it’s always relevant
- Analysis of the data, so it’s easier for EDOs to plan their next move
Economic Development Officer: Connect and Support Local Business
An Economic Development Officer should be the nexus point of their local business community. Let people know who you are and what you can for their businesses.
For more information on what you can do to help local businesses, and how MDB Insight can help, download this infographic.