Portage County Business Council: Business Retention Expansion Initiative
Submitted by Todd Kuckkahn
Executive Director, Portage County Business Council, Inc. (PCBC)
STEVENS POINT — The Portage County Business Council (PCBC) is continuing to lead the economic development effort with a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) initiative throughout our community. PCBC is seeking perspectives from stakeholders that will assist policy makers and business advocates to determine priorities for our community. The ultimate goal is to enhance the economic vitality of our region.
While there is no charge for these conversations, we ask that those who plan to attend to please register, but individuals may come at the last minute and/or invite others to participate based on the business sector. These are not networking or new business opportunities. Registration can be found at: http://business.portagecountybiz.com/events.
Businesses that participate in the focus group will:
- Share what is working well in our current economy and within your business & sector
- Acknowledge challenges to your business model, both short-term “red flags” and longer-term issues, that can be addressed individually or collectively in our community
- Assist with mapping local, regional and state resources that support our economic vitality
The focus of the initiative is to gather qualitative data through face-to-face conversations with targeted businesses sectors and work with governmental units and other organizations to implement programs and services based on responses that best support economic growth. Previous conversations included agriculture, manufacturing, finance, insurance, professional services, and healthcare,
“While we certainly understand that talent attraction and retention is a key priority, we need to better understand and share best practices related to business success and challenges,”, according to Todd Kuckkahn, Executive Director, Portage County Business Council. “With nearly eighty percent of our businesses with nine or fewer employees, we need to better understand how to help them grow their business and these conversations will help do just that. We want to do all we can to remove obstacles.”
BREs involve partnerships of government, business, education and community leadership that continuously assess the existing economic base and the physical, geographical, financial, technological, and human resource needs of individual businesses with the community.
The key areas to examine in assessing our communities’ strengths and weaknesses include (but are not limited to): access to markets, education, govt./policy/taxes/utilities, housing, quality of life, regional supply chain, site availability, talent/workforce/labor, and transportation.
All of the focus groups will take place at: Portage County Business Council; 5501 Vern Holmes Drive; 7:30-8:30 AM (days/dates/sectors below):
Date Business Sector
Wed., Aug. 1 Non-profit, Community Services
Thurs., Aug. 2 Information Technology
Thurs., Aug. 16 Retail, Restaurant, Hotel, Entertainment, Recreation
Wed., Aug. 29 Construction, Real Estate
If any business would prefer a one-on-one confidential conversation, please contact Todd Kuckkahn, Executive Director, Portage County Business Council; [email protected]; 715-344-1940.