[share]The GREDF Strategic Planning Committee met this week to review the strategic plan adopted by GREDF’s Board of Directors in December of last year. The plan serves as a blueprint for Board policy decisions, guiding the organization’s investment in economic development initiatives, programs and projects.

2014 Strategic Plan Cover
Click here to view the 2014 GREDF Strategic Plan.

In today’s eDevelopments, we’d like to share our progress on our top priority: Business Retention & Expansion. The ultimate aim of BRE is to stimulate local economic development by helping existing businesses increase their sales and employment through a combination of programs that not only increase these firms’ competitiveness, but also improve the community’s quality of life.

Our BRE goal for 2014 is to make one official BRE visit per week. An official retention visit is different than more frequent need- and project-based outreach with businesses. A retention visit is defined as a targeted, data-gathering meeting initiated by GREDF with five goals in mind:

  1. Identify businesses with plans to expand.
  2. Identify businesses at risk of leaving or downsizing.
  3. Identify business and community problems.
  4. Provide assistance.
  5. Build relationships.

GREDF uses a BRE software called Synchronist to collect, analyze and report the aggregate data collected during BRE visits. We are pleased to report that we have surpassed our goal during the first five months of the year, conducting 28 official BRE visits ytd. 

Through these confidential visits, we have identified and addressed existing projects and issues, and are servicing the capital, workforce and infrastructure needs of our area businesses as a result. We have identified trends and opportunities and look forward to ongoing dialogue with our region’s business community.

We look forward to sharing our 6-month Strategic Plan update in June. Until then, we’ll be busy furthering our mission: to maintain and and improve the economic vitality of the Quincy and Adams County, Illinois, region through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the attraction of new businesses to our entire region.