EDC unveils Expand Rowan initiative to focus on existing employers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Economic Development Commission launched a business retention and expansion initiative Wednesday.

The “Expand Rowan” initiative will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities of the county’s employers.

“Because most new growth in a community comes from existing businesses, a strong business retention and expansion effort is a key component of any successful economic development program,” EDC President Rod Crider said. “Expand Rowan will allow us to better assist our existing business and industry, determine needed improvements to the business climate and identify expansion project opportunities.

“While attracting new businesses to Rowan County is important, it is critical that we also help our existing employers that already have shown their commitment to our community,” Crider said. “With the creation of this new initiative, we are sending a strong message to Rowan County businesses that they are our first priority in economic development.”

Kendall Henderson, EDC’s director of business services, will lead the initiative.

“The creation of a dedicated retention position and program within the EDC signals the priority that the EDC places on supporting our existing employers,” Henderson said. “It’s important that we work to protect our existing jobs and helping local companies to grow. Too often, we have taken these companies for granted, with not enough focus on understanding and addressing their needs. I’m excited to have the opportunity to develop this important new program.”

Henderson will work to develop strengthened relationships with employers across Rowan County. During visits to companies, EDC staff will gather information for decision making and resource allocation across the organization and throughout the community.

Henderson also will partner with regional and local economic development organizations, workforce development providers, and other organizations that offer resources for businesses.

The goal of the program is to visit at least 60 companies annually. To schedule a visit or for more information, contact Henderson of the EDC at 704-637-5526 or kendall@RowanEDC.com