CLARKSBURG — The Harrison County Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors discussed goals that will be a focus of the organization’s upcoming retreat and received an update on business property listings in the county.
Corporation Executive Director Amy Haberbosch Wilson said the retreat needs to have specific goals separate from the overarching goals of the organization as a whole. She provided the board with a preliminary list of goals developed with the help of a meeting facilitator.
Board President Chad Riley encouraged members to contact Haberbosch Wilson with suggestions on areas to explore at the retreat before Friday, when another planning meeting with the facilitator is expected to occur.
“We ought to use that retreat to say, … ‘What is this organization trying to do in the long run and what should we be doing over the next year to set up the following?’” Riley said.
According to Haberbosch Wilson, potential topics for consideration at the retreat include continued collaboration among organizations like the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Corporation, Harrison County Economic Alliance Corporation and the Harrison County Development Authority.
Riley said the organizations have focused on efforts within their own wheelhouses in order to maximize their impact within the county and region and “so we’re not stepping all over each other.”
The board also could discuss the possible expansion of the geographic range of the Harrison County Economic Development Corporation. Currently, the bylaws of the organization limit the organization to the county.
Another county, and the state, have asked if the corporation would be willing to expand, Haberbosch Wilson said.
“It may not be for this year,” she said. “I think we thought it would be a hot topic and something to move towards, but after we discussed it, it may be down the road.”
Additional revenue streams for the corporation, other than memberships and marketing, could also be a focus at the retreat, Haberbosch Wilson said.
The board also should consider the office needs of the corporation and potential sites for office space, she said.
The board has looked at space in the Goff Building but is not ready to move forward on a letter of intent for the space, she said.
Haberbosch Wilson also provided board members with an update on a vacant business site inventory that is on the corporation’s website. The inventory is designed to be a resource for individuals and companies looking for business space in Harrison County.
The inventory has grown from just over a dozen sites in the beginning to nearly 70 today, Haberbosch Wilson said.
“It sounds great, and that was kind of a benchmark we were looking at — building our inventory,” she said.
The corporation has received reports that some of the Realtors for the sites listed on the inventory have not been responsive to potential buyers, however.
Board member David Hinkle, a Harrison County commissioner, expressed concern that bad customer experiences could deter those looking for a business space from using the corporation as a resource.