Archive for Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Letter to the editor

April 3, 2002

Economic development

To the editor:

I would compliment the city of Tonganoxie, the mayor and the city council for the initiative to assemble local businesspersons to form a group to help promote Tonganoxie as a place to locate a new business and attract new businesses. As a practicing economic development professional for nearly 30 years, my only advice to the city and the new group is that there is no easy and quick formula for instant results. Thus, for a local effort to be successful requires the commitment and dedication of volunteers for years not months or until a single task is complete. There is a laundry list of tasks common to ALL successful economic development efforts. At LAD most of those tasks are embodied in our annual Program of Work, which is available for viewing on our Web site,

LAD has been an economic development organization with professional staff for more than 20 years. Locating a new business is like operating a fire station. You have to be there prepared to respond at a moment's notice, after many hours of constant preparation and training, but you may not get a call for months and only one call out of 100 may result in a new business location.

Working regularly with your existing businesses is where the real value is. It is the existing businesses that have the greatest likelihood to expand (and without a local effort, expand somewhere else). LAD and its partner, the Leavenworth County Port Authority, have had several successes in Tonganoxie and stand ready to continue our supportive efforts and welcome any new participation.

Gary E. Carlson,

Executive director, Leavenworth Area Development.

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