Towns and business need to partner, local experts say

Towns and business need to partner, local experts say

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Healthy towns are boosted by healthy businesses, said local experts at a recent workshop focused on how mutual cooperation can improve success for businesses and help the community, too. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the Durham Economic Development Commission hosted a workshop for business owners in the community.

During a discussion at the end of the event, business owners talked with Courtney Hendricson, vice president of municipal services at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, about economic development in Durham. One concern centered on a statistic that Hendricson had provided during her presentation. 

“Young people are leaving and so are people over 50,” she said, describing a trend seen across the state.

Hendricson explained that retaining young couples is important to economic health because, not only is this demographic working and paying taxes, but also “because they have young children and that brings vitality to our communities.”  

In order to help counter that exodus, Hendricson said towns can start promoting good news on social media, particularly community pages that showcase local life in a positive light. 

Janet Morganti, chair of the economic development commission, also pointed out the importance of expansion of local business in town. 

“Hobson & Motzer are growing by leaps and bounds, they even have another facility in Wallingford, but they’ve also chosen to invest more money in Durham and they also want to add on to their business,” she said of the company, a manufacturer of precision metal components.

Morganti said the business will be going before planning & zoning to announce a 2,500 square foot addition to its building, and that people need to come out and support the plant’s expansion in town. 

“We want you all to know that we are trying to help you,” Morganti said. “We have 400 some-odd registered businesses in our town. My issue is how to reach all of those people.” 

Hendricson said the best thing towns can do is simply try their hardest to connect with local businesses.

“You’re not going to help every business every year, and that’s okay,” she said. “But the more you know them, the more you visit them one on one … that’s the kind of example of how you’ll know best how to serve them.”

Interested in learning more about Durham’s Economic Development Commission? Call 860-349-3452 or email
Twitter: @everett_bishop