Business owners looking to learn a few tricks were in for a treat on Halloween with the kickoff of the Volusia County Department of Economic Development’s Volusia Business Resource week.
The series of virtual lunch-and-learn sessions featured economic development professionals from cities across the county along with representatives from community agencies including Team Volusia and the CEO Business Alliance.
Brad Harris, Volusia County economic development business manager, said the week-long series of events was designed to introduce Volusia business owners to the organizations and agencies providing assistance to help grow their companies and to familiarize them with the Volusia Business Resources program.
Harris said the idea for Volusia Business Resources “’started with candid conversations with a small number of local businesses and business organizations” and the creation of a countywide business survey. He said the program is intended to help expand awareness of business resources available in the county with a comprehensive business assistance website, along with a community-wide public/private partnership to promote new business development and existing business expansion and to be a “listening conduit where the voice of small business is heard.”
After an overview of the Volusia Business Resources website, moderator Katrina Friel turned it over to Team Volusia President and CEO Keith Norden, who focused on the organization’s efforts to attract new businesses to the area.
“We are excited to be one of the affiliated partners,” Norden said. “We’ve been involved in the process since the beginning.”
Norden said Team Volusia’s role is to help recruit businesses from outside Volusia County to expand or relocate in the area.
“We work with chambers of commerce, community organizations, workforce partners, transportation and utility partners and, of course, the public sector and the private sector,” he said.
Next up was Kent Sharples, president and CEO of the CEO Business Alliance.
Sharples said the organization is there to assist a business coming to Volusia to “know who all the players are” and to help with issues including permitting, relocation to a larger facility, legal and financial consulting and incentives.
“Our members are really anxious to act as mentors,” he said.
In addition to private organizations, the inaugural session included short presentations from local economic development professionals such as Nancy Maddox, Daytona Beach Shores recreation and economic development director; DeLand economic development manager Nick Conte and Ormond Beach Director of Economic Development Brian Rademacher.
Harris wrapped up the session with information about the 2022 Business Survey, which kicked off Oct. 31 and runs through Dec. 2.
He said the survey consists of 20 questions and takes five to 10 minutes to complete online.
“It’s a great tool to make sure we are aligned with the needs of businesses,” Harris said.
For more information about Volusia Business Resource and the Annual Business Survey, go to https://www.volusiabusinessresources.com/