Fairfield, CT – Fairfield Community & Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart announced today that the Fairfield Economic Development Commission has commenced work on a plan to develop a vision and strategy to guide the Town’s future economic development efforts.
The Economic Development Plan will serve to establish goals and priorities in the Town’s economic development programs to support the local business community, to encourage entrepreneurship and new business formation and to attract businesses to Fairfield. “Our focus remains on how we can grow the business sector and the commercial grand list as well as create employment opportunities for our residents, but do so in a responsible way that is sensitive to our community character,” stated Mr. Barnhart.
First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau commented, “I think it’s vitally important that we periodically re-examine the work that we are doing in view of our competitors and industry-wide best practices. Fairfield continues to be a great place in which to live, work and have a business, but we are constantly searching for areas in which we can improve. I commend the Commission on their taking this initiative and look forward to working with them on this undertaking.”
“The Economic Development Plan really serves as a blueprint for the Town to follow in order to achieve its economic development goals,” stated Peter Penczer, Chairman of the Fairfield Economic Development Commission. “It’s critical that we have such a Plan to guide our work, especially now in light of GE’s decision to relocate its corporate headquarters,” he added.
Mr. Barnhart noted that the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) had been selected to assist the Commission in this undertaking. Based in Rocky Hill, CERC (www.cerc.com) is a non-profit corporation and public-private partnership that seeks to provide its clients with strategic business, real estate, research and marketing services with a focus on economic development and leveraging the State’s advantages as a premier business location. “CERC understands Connecticut, and the CERC team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this engagement,” Barnhart commented.
“We are delighted to be working with the Fairfield Economic Development Commission and other business and community leaders to identify winning strategies for continued economic growth,” remarked Robert Santy, President and CEO of CERC, who will lead the planning effort.
In addition to targeted interviews with key decision-makers, CERC will be conducting an on-line survey of area businesses and holding several facilitated workshops to build consensus around economic development priorities and goals. The Plan will examine key challenges and opportunities facing Fairfield and seek to create a series of actionable goals and measures by which to evaluate progress.
The total cost of the study is $28,000, which is being partially underwritten by a grant from the United Illuminating Company and Southern Connecticut Gas. The project is expected to be completed by this fall.