Retain and Expand Existing Business FCED stays in contact with over 230 small businesses to provide resources to help them succeed and assistance to overcome obstacles. The first goal is to help existing businesses thrive and grow rather than putting too much effort and incentives into attracting new businesses. Efforts are ongoing to grow the top two industries in Florence County: forest products and tourism businesses.
Assist Start-up Businesses FCED works one-on-one with entrepreneurs to evaluate business ideas, write a business plan, conduct market research, draft financial projections, secure financing and locate a building or land on which to start the business.
Provide Gap Financing Programs FCED offers a microloan RLF program offering 3% interest rate for $2,000 – $10,000 loans to facilitate new business start-ups, business expansions, business retention, and efficiency improvements. FCED offers several other gap-financing programs depending on the type of business project including BCPL loans, TID (Tax Increment District) incentives and low cost land options. An RLF program to lend $10,000 – $50,000 is also available.
Attract New Businesses While business attraction is a less productive way to grow jobs and services, FCED focuses on attracting several business to fill critical vacancies. The current businesses needed are a 30 room assisted living facility and chain hotel. Market studies proving the need for these businesses are available to prospective developers. There is also a need for a part-time dentist and eye doctor offices. These professionals could semi-retire to Florence County and establish a part-time practice with no competition.
Facilitate Community and Business Development FCED partners with the Florence County Chamber of Commerce and other community groups to enhance the curb appeal, quality of life and customer service of Florence County businesses and communities to increase the chance of growing and attracting the businesses our residents need. FCED also collaborates with many organizations to hold and publicize all types of events. FCED manages the print, digital and radio advertising for Florence County.