Town looks at what industries to attract
Before going out to recruit businesses, the town of Indian Trail wants to establish what industries would fit best and what residents want to see come in. During their Tuesday, June 28 meeting, the council agreed to work with Raleigh based consulting firm Sanford Holshouser to develop the plan.
“We embarked on a process in March to establish a comprehensive economic development plan,” Town Manager Joe Fivas said. “We’ve spent the last month doing research.”
Fivas added that town staff had conducted a national search, to determine what company would be best to partner with on the project, eventually settling on Sanford Holshouser.
The town’s citizen survey, released earlier this year, showed that residents aren’t satisfied with the current economic state of Indian Trail. Only 22 percent were satisfied with the amount of jobs in town, while 36 percent felt building an entertainment district would be important to Indian Trail’s future.
“This (plan) will be the rock and foundation by which we can make a lot of important economic development decisions,” Town Economic Development Coordinator Kelly Barnhardt said. “If you have no plan, every decision has unlimited options and therefore quickly becomes a little overwhelming.”
Holshouser managing partner Michael Geouge, a former city planner himself, told the council the group would work to develop a plan that could be easily followed.
“We want the plan to be implementable, because your success is our success,” Geouge said. He added the plan would be pointless unless it was something the town could use. To assist in guaranteeing that, Geouge said his company would give one year of free service once the plan was completed, helping the town implement it.
“I view it as a business plan for local government,” Geouge said. “Each community is different.”
The plan would identify target markets in town and determine where businesses want to locate. It’s estimated to take between three to four months to complete.