The Economic Development Commission predominantly focused on strategies to try to bring new businesses to Rocky Hill at their meeting Thursday night.
During public comment, Scott Coleman, proprietor of , continued his ongoing drive to sell the members on that he is offering to construct for free. Coleman believes the new site will improve the quality of both government and business in town and make it possible for them to work in partnership to promote local economic expansion.
Commission members uniformly endorsed the need to go forward with plans for a new website, however made clear its designs were only in the developmental phase. They agreed to implement some of Coleman’s ideas but, held off on committing to his exact blueprint. Commission Chair Mike Bocchini stressed that the guiding principle of new webpage should be user friendly.
However, member Marti Stiglich questioned how even a revamped website would make outside businesses looking to expand or relocate become aware of Rocky Hill as a potential location for their enterprises. She suggested retaining a search firm to target candidate companies based upon their existing tax base in their present locales as well as the status of their current leases.
Economic Development Director Ray Carpentino reported several other new methods he is employing to attract both regionally-based and out-of-area businesses. The strategies include boosting advertising in online real estate publications, increasing his office’s visitation program wherein he travels to meet with owners of candidate businesses at their establishments, and using hit-tracking software to identify companies that have accessed the town webpage multiple times.
Commission member Jeff Thomen was particularly intrigued by the latter resource and emphasized the need to be more proactive in contacting and recruiting such businesses who have displayed evident curiosity about the town‘s market potential.
At the conclusion of the session, the commission heard further recommendations from Coleman as to how Rocky Hill could harness emerging technologies to promote business development. Coleman explained to the members about the existence of a new town-government iPod application, enhanced corporate e-mail blast software, and ways to more efficiently use bandwidth.
The Economic Development Commission will re-convene on Oct. 11.