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Program geared to help existing businesses

By Staff | Sep 3, 2008

Shaun Arneson of the Iowa Lakes Corridor updated Emmet County supervisors Tuesday on a program to help grow existing businesses in the four-county Corridor area.

The Existing Industry Call Program is geared to help retain and expand existing businesses. A major reason for the program is that 70-75 percent of new business comes from existing business and industry.

In a recent survey, Arneson said the program measured four areas:

n Growth potential of existing businesses.

n Value to the community.

n Risk of downsizing or relocating.

n Business satisfaction level.

The Corridor called on 25 businesses in the four-county area, and three in Emmet County. Of the businesses contacted in Emmet County, two owned their own facilities, and one leased. The three businesses were in businesses for a total of 83 years or 27 years average.

Two of the three businesses plan to expand in the next three years. Two plan on increasing management. The three businesses have added 23 new jobs in the last three years.

For the future, Arneson said the Corridor is participating in more career fair and will hold its own job fair April 2009.

Regarding satisfaction with services among the four counties overall, employers gave a low rating to the availability of airlines and air cargo services but a high rating for the availability and quality of community colleges and universities.

In other business Tuesday, the supervisors held a phone conference with Kossuth and Palo Alto counties concerning an engineer’s study on Joint Drainage District EKPA No.1 (Tri 84). The joint board approved the engineer’s study and reclassification.

The supervisors also heard an engineer’s report from Roger Patocka.