Local businesses transform communities
On a stroll down a Main Street teeming with independent boutiques and craft breweries, I overheard an exchange between a shopkeeper and a customer:
“What brought you to our town?” the customer asked.
The shopkeeper laughed and said, “The answer’s a long one. How much time do you have?”
Entrepreneurs and established companies set up shop in communities for a variety of reasons. Access to skilled labor, affordable real estate and working capital are just some of the reasons that businesses hang their shingles here. Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is curated by economic developers, government and business leaders who transform neighborhoods, one storefront at a time.
As a longtime economic developer, I rely on my network of colleagues at the Mar yland Economic Development Association to make the best choices for the communities and businesses I serve. For 55 years, MEDA’s diversity of voices, conferences and learning opportunities have powered the partnerships vital to growth. Together, our members help companies export their products to expand their participation in the world economy. We partner with education and industry to deliver real-time skills to our workforce. We bring new businesses to Main Street providing financing and marketing support. Every project we undertake aims to make your life easier, your neighborhood better, and your job prospects stronger.
Sept. 19-23 marks our statewide celebration of Economic Development Week. This week allows Mar yland jurisdictions to make proclamations reaffirming the importance of business development. It also deepens the dialogue about job growth and enrichment efforts underway in our cities and towns. If you’re interested in contributing to your community’s story, I invite you to:
• learn more about local Economic Development Week activities on medamd.com
• participate in a community or neighborhood organization as often as possible
• shop at small businesses in your community.
My participation in MEDA is fueled by my commitment as a citizen. As MEDA president, I will ensure that we give economic developers and businesses the tools to improve their communities. As a citizen, I’ll take time to listen to the shopkeeper’s story, knowing that his long answer will improve his long-term chances of success. KEASHA N. HAYTHE, CEcD MEDA President