What Your Local Economic Development Professional Can Do For You

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Business owners, did you know your local economic development professional can help you start or grow your business, secure needed funds or navigate the local, state or even federal government?

These well-informed people can be invaluable to business owners everywhere, and they want to hear from you.

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Some of the services you can rely on your local economic development professional for include: 

1. Site selection services

Your economic development professional can assist you with your relocation project. They can help identify real estate or land best suited for your needs.

RELATED: North Carolina Corporate Site Selection 101

2. Applications for funds

Economic development professionals can help you find key grants, incentives and loans that you might not be aware of. These opportunities exist at the local, state or federal level in the government and nonprofit sectors. In addition to uncovering these funds, they can also lend their expertise and help you strengthen your application.

RELATED: Currituck County Business Incentives

3. Identifying business resources

Economic development professionals are dynamic, knowledgeable resources on most business-related topics, but sometimes a more specific resource is needed. They have relationships throughout their region and state to help solve problems, ranging from business planning to environmental planning to complex financing options.

Even if your local economic developer doesn’t know the answer to a question, they probably know who you need to ask.

4. Project advising

Your local economic development professional stands ready to work with anyone who may add value to their city, county, region or state. Developers, consultants, entrepreneurs, and business owners can all rely on their local economic development professional for guidance on their most complex development projects, at any stage of the design, bid and build process.

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5. Political lobbying

With extensive knowledge of local, state and federal policies and politics, your local economic development professional can help navigate the political minefields that exist in the world of development. These people spend time developing key relationships with lawmakers, advocating for policies and initiatives that help spur the economic growth of their region, so it would be worth it to see what they can do for you.

6. Vision

Economic development professionals are the caretakers of the future growth and development in their region.

They ponder the big questions, such as: What do we want our community to look like in 10, 20 and 50 years? How will we get there? What will the economic drivers be? What growth should we expect, and in what industries? What policies should we put into place today that will help ensure the future of our region matches our aspirations for it?

RELATED: Imagine Currituck Survey Results

There is no shortage of practical services your local economic development professional provides. Whether you want to develop a plan designed to grow your business, find the perfect facility for your business, or need help deciphering the local building regulations and zoning, you’ve got a dynamic resource to call on.

While many of them are one-person shops, there is no shortage of ways they can help you. All this expertise is available to you, at a price you can afford — free. So don’t hesitate to contact yours today. They would love to hear from you.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Inside Business

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