For a lot of small businesses in the tri-County area, the current business environment truly is uncharted territory. After a long period of operation in a healthy economic environment, many area businesses are faced with the challenges of this new uncertain economy.

While the Economic Development Council does work to attract new business to the area, a large part of our work revolves around retaining and strengthening current business. With this goal in mind, we work to provide you with the tools and assistance you need to thrive in this economy. Although the first reaction might be to tighten spending and increase cuts, closer inspection might reveal some steps that would be much more beneficial to your company.

Of course, one of the first steps is to develop an understanding of what your environment is. How does the economy affect you? How does it affect your competitors, your suppliers, and your customers? The effects of the economy on them will impact your relationship with them as directly as it will affect you.

In his article, "Strategies and Processes for a Changing Economy," (available at www.Inc.com) Dana Baldwin of the Center for Simplified Strategic Planning outlines four steps to ride out and even grow in today’s rough economy.

The Economic Development Council also has a number of resources available to area businesses. The EDC coordinates resources for economic development, growth, and expansion. Through the help of our investors, we provide many services including grant administration assistance and business development programs. Such services are of great value to the community, and it’s only through the generosity of our investors that we are able to provide these programs. Your support enables us to continue supporting and promoting the tri-county area. IBI