Rural communities face a special set of challenges when it comes to recruiting business
By Dawn Kent | firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27, 2013 at 8:56 AM
Recruiting new business to rural communities often is a daunting task from the beginning.
Small work forces, a lack of interstate access and prepared sites, as well as limited resources for incentives and marketing are all challenges.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution for meeting these challenges, say Bill Taylor, president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and Steve Sewell, the group's executive vice president.
EDPA has been holding meetings in rural counties to help set long-range economic development goals that align with the state's priorities and to start a dialog about what's working and what's not.
"It's a lot of fun. It's engaging. It's energetic," Taylor said. "Coming together means so much...there are great folks in rural Alabama with a huge amount of passion for their communities."
Taylor and Sewell sit on the steering committee of a new effort by the Economic Development Association of Alabama to boost business recruiting in rural areas.
The regional focus is key, they say. Communities that work together to draw projects have a better shot at success, with their combined work forces and other resources.