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Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. Demonstrates a Commitment to Local Businesses with the Launch of Business Retention and Expansion Program

January 2016 - As part of an effort to retain and help expand companies in Grays Harbor County, Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. (GGHI) is launching a countywide Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) program. By enabling communities to better understand their local economies, BRE programs are a key resource for encouraging economic growth and play an essential role in the overall economic development strategy. Through the BRE process, communities are able to analyze the key drivers of their local economy, identify specific challenges and threats, and develop strategies and action plans designed to overcome these in order to encourage growth and expansion of local business and industry.

“Helping our existing companies grow is the primary objective of this program,” said Dru Garson, CEO of GGHI. “Reaching out to local companies and connecting them to business opportunities will help them continue to thrive and remain in the community, while helping us better understand the local climate for doing business.”

Research indicates that helping local companies grow, rather than courting companies to relocate from elsewhere, is one of the most effective ways to create new jobs. According to a Brookings-Rockefeller Foundation Study, more than 95 percent of job gains in the U.S. come from existing business expansion (nearly 42 percent) and new business creation (56 percent), while only 2 percent of job gains come from companies relocating to an area.

Over the coming months, GGHI will be meeting with local companies in Grays Harbor County to learn about their experience doing business here and current challenges they may be facing. “The success of BRE initiatives is based on developing ongoing relationships and connections with community businesses and building trust,” said Garson. “Maintaining strict confidentiality on all matters discussed is key to developing that trust.” The meetings will help connect local companies with resources to grow and expand, while providing local government officials with a better understanding of the area’s business climate.

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