Washington County Economic Development Symposium held

Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 07:01 PM.

Economic development is a process, Goetsch said. “The goal is to create and retain jobs, that is what it is all about.”

When businesses look at communities to consider locating there, they often want to meet the county’s elected officials. “Local officials may say they support businesses, but when they are looking at a community, those businesses will talk to local business owners to see if what the local officials is true.”

Taking a long view is so important,” Goetsch said. “Economic development is a slow, murky process.”

Larry Sassano, president and CEO of Florida’s Great Northwest, discussed “Marketing Sites and Products” told local officials that a shovel ready industrial site is necessary for a community to “be in the game” of economic development.

“A Greenfield site with no or limited access with no or little infrastructure does not constitute a viable site and will not often be of interest to new or expanding businesses, and are better suited for agriculture or parks,” Sassano said.

For a site to be truly shovel ready, the planning, zoning surveys, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis and public infrastructure engineering has been completed prior to the site being offered for sale or lease, Sassano said.

“Shovel ready sites basically shorten the time it will take a prospect to have a building on his or her site and allows them to focus on moving forward to build the facility in a fraction of the time and be operational faster,” he said.

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