Attract New Businesses, Or Retain And Expand Existing Ones?



Why do Rim Country communities place more emphasis on attracting new businesses, instead of retaining and expanding existing businesses?

According to the International Economic Development Council, the nation’s leading trade group of economic development practitioners, 70 to 80 percent of new job creation comes from retaining existing businesses, helping them keep their doors open and keep their workers employed. Yes, you read correctly — 70 to 80 percent of new jobs, particularly in rural communities, are created from business retention and expansion programs — not business attraction.

Yet, community leaders who are aware of this fact dismiss the benefits of helping existing businesses expand and find the resources to augment the number of workers they employ. Instead of utilizing programs proven to create the majority of new jobs in rural communities, it appears that the vanity of generating headlines and attention by attracting new businesses is more important than keeping existing employers in Rim Country, and employing residents of Rim Country.

Jeff McCormick

Rural Economic Development Consultant

Show Low, AZ


Pat Randall 5 years, 8 months ago

Great letter Jeff. Seems Payson keeps the established businesses busy with thier nit picking. Especially if they move from one building to a larger one. Don't try to help, hinder is the word. I have watched it happen several times in the last few years. Some just give up and leave town. So then we have another vacant bldg. With a new business they forget all the rules and fees.


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