Floyd County’s Economic Development Authority (EDA), invited for the first time to participate in the comprehensive planning process, is looking beyond traditional roles for an economic development entity and working on plans to help existing small businesses.
Traditionally, EDAs concentrate on bringing new business to an area. While the EDA still wants to attract new employers to Floyd County, it is also developing programs to help existing businesses with an emphasis on small, entrepreneurial operations and artisans.
Proposed programs include help in developing business plans, financial aid and coordination in marketing.
This is a bold step for an EDA but one that is both welcome and innovative. At the EDA’s regular meeting this past Monday, I listened in as the members discussed ways to to focus help on existing small business. The commitment to making the program work is, I believe, deep and genuine. While the proposed programs, along with the new comprehensive plan for the county, are not final, the eventual result will benefit the core of the county’s business community: small, family-owned farms, artists and home-based operations.
My congratulations to Lydeanna Martin, director of economic development; Dan Campbell, county administrator, EDA chairman Jack Russell and other members of the authority. This is a needed, necessary step beyond the usual “bricks and mortar” economic thinking. I have a story in today’s Floyd Press. We will also follow development of this plan and report to the community.