Ashford, CT—The Ashford Economic Development Commission has launched its own website www.ashfordedc.org as a tool for businesses seeking information on prospective development areas in the town. Funded primarily by a Small Cities grant received by the town, the website seeks to promote the proximity of Ashford to major cities, transportation centers and institutions of higher learning –all attractive attributes for locating a business.
The website’s look and primary map graphics was designed by Sue Schadt, and was executed and maintained by Robert Layton of RDN Associates. The site includes population and business statistics in Ashford as well as other notable features of the town. Its primary focus, however, is in familiarizing business prospects on those Special Planning Areas the town identified in its Plan of Conservation and Development to be most suitable for supporting economic growth in the community.
“We felt strongly that Ashford should promote its readiness to welcome businesses to town, especially those that fit in with our rural character that can take advantage of our strong traffic counts, proximity to I-84, UConn and accessible major airports within an hour or less,” says Ray Fenn, Chairman of the Ashford Economic Development Commission. “Whether a small business is interested in establishing services in our community, or a larger business is seeking a well-positioned central location within New England, Ashford is worthy of consideration.”
Area Development Magazine’s 2007 annual corporate survey indicated that highway accessibility was the top site location factor among 97% of the corporate executives surveyed. Skilled labor availability ranked fourth with 89%, and Available Land ranked sixth at 85%–all positive attributes Ashford offers. The EDC’s website will continue to evolve. “We hope to be able to work with local realtors to post links to properties for sale or rent in our community so information is instantly available, “says Fenn.
Development Counselors International (DCI) survey results indicated that 56% of respondents turn first to websites to do their real estate development research. In addition, a Natelson survey from 2004 indicated 97% of Economic Developers ranked a webpage as the “most effective” technique for prospect identification. “Ashford is a terrific place to locate a business. We have several sites that are ready for building, and some attractive rental opportunities on high-traffic roads as well. Although we have limited resources to promote that fact compared to larger municipalities with a full-time staff, our all-volunteer EDC is working hard to help grow our business base here, and the website is one valuable tool we can use to present our assets,” says Fenn.
For more information:
Ray Fenn 860-429-6381
Margaret Chatey 860-429-0464