Despite ‘barriers.’ Florence businesses growing

Florence Main Street

Florence Reminder Blade-Tribune

A solid majority of local businesses surveyed said their business was growing and they expected to add employees over the next five years, according to a survey by the town of Florence.

However, most also cited what they considered to be barriers to growth in Florence.

Early this year, the town Economic Development Department realized there was no formal system of addressing the needs and concerns of the local business community. Discussions between the town, the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and the Florence Main Street Program led to the idea of a formal business retention and expansion program, based on information provided by local businesses in a survey.

Surveys were taken between February and May, with a total of 82 businesses participating. A committee of local business people advised Florence Economic Development Coordinator Scott Bowles on the survey process, approved the final draft of the survey and approved the final format and content of the report.

The result is the “2012 Town of Florence Business Retention and Expansion Report,” which was presented to the Town Council Tuesday night.

Most businesses surveyed (48, or 59 percent) stated their operations were growing, meaning the owner was introducing new products and services that were successfully attracting additional customers. Only 20 (24 percent) stated their operations were maturing — neither growing nor declining, but streamlining products and services to meet the needs of an established customer base.



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