From Radius Indiana:
Approximately one out of every six ‘Stage 2’ business establishments in the Radius region are potential candidates for Radius Indiana’s newest community and economic enhancement effort.
The recently introduced effort is Radius’s first economic gardening program, which embraces the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies by creating and supporting communities’ existing companies. It is part of Radius’s larger community development initiative, which includes theQuality of Place guidebooks released in 2020, the upcoming Recast City program, and the Intermediary Relending Program.
“Economic gardening gives local companies the strategic information and resources they need to increase job growth and develop their workforces,” Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius Indiana, said. “We believe that giving our people and businesses this extra support to accelerate their growth will contribute to long-term economic development and increase the quality of life in our communities.”
The program focuses on supporting local companies that fit the ‘Stage 2’ criteria for economic gardening. Out of approximately 5,000 established businesses in the Radius region, over 840 companies meet the selection definition; Radius further targeted specific criteria to identify 142 businesses that appear to be appropriate initial targets for economic gardening. These qualifications for entrance into the program include:
- For-profit, privately held company;
- Employ 10-99 people;
- Generate annual revenues of $750,000 to $50 million;
- Maintain its principal place of business in Indiana for at least the previous two years; and
- A commitment to innovation.
Radius has partnered with the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and local economic development organizations in the region to carry out the program. Currently, companies in Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, and Orange Counties are participating.
“Purdue’s economic gardening program has helped us gain insight into a couple of markets that we are looking to enter,” said Alex Barnes, president of WF Meyers, an Indiana-based supplier of stone-cutting tools that participated in the program. “This has helped us gain a better view of the competitive landscape and has given us a lot of things to consider. We also have some more immediate steps we can take by improving our online presence.”
The initiative provides 35 hours of strategic business consulting, including search engine optimization research and other relevant data. PCRD received funding from the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist Indiana-based companies as they navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Primary growth in communities comes from existing businesses,” said Shance Sizemore, CEO of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council. “Economic gardening is another tool for us to use to grow business retention and expansion in our counties. There is a great opportunity to help existing companies take the next steps to be successful.”
Interested companies should contact their local economic development organization to learn more about economic gardening.
For those unfamiliar with Radius Indiana, it is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in southern Indiana, including Greene, as well as Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.