Economic Development Strategic Plan

Full Version of The Economic Development Plan

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Summary of The Economic Development Strategic Plan

Over the past several months the Town of Benson staff, Board, and citizens have come together with a North Carolina State University Team to develop and establish an economic development plan for Benson. This economic development strategic plan (EDSP) was developed to address the concerns of the Town of Benson, NC on the future of its economic growth. Located at the crossroads of I-40 and I-95, Benson is uniquely positioned for new economic opportunities, a positioning that is enhanced by its access to Raleigh and the extension of I-540 around the south side of Raleigh. While Benson has seen success in recent years with its economic development, as evidenced by the introduction of new businesses to the area, we are seeking to better position ourselves for new opportunities that may come.

The EDSP committee established four primary goals for the plan: Develop the infrastructure necessary to grow the community, such as alternate routes for trucks, continue addressing stormwater issues, and gaining access to High-Speed internet capable of supporting business use. Manage the availability of property and land use regulation to design a positive environment by constantly updating available properties for use, advertising and marketing our assets, and helping local businesses attain grants to maintain and improve building appearances and enhance opportunities for employment and workforce development. Examples of this would be collaborating with Johnston County Community College to institute satellite classes/programs, job-training programs with local businesses to show the current needs and demands of the workforce, and encouraging citizens to pursue higher education. Effectively market and brand the town, this is deciding how we want Benson to be viewed by those outside of our community at both a resident level and a business opportunity level.

This EDSP serves as a baseline assessment of the existing conditions that drive the economy of Benson. The plan intends to help town staff and other stakeholders implement strategies to improve Benson’s economic condition and meet the four goals of the economic mission established by the Economic Development Committee at the start of the EDSP process. The recommendations for actions that have emerged from this study are viewed as opportunities to address and improve the economic position of the community and improve the quality of life of its residents. Given the constant shifts in the economy, the EDSP focuses on a shorter time frame than the general strategic plan that was adopted by the town in 2009. The goals and objectives that have emerged from the EDSP process should be viewed in the context of a five-year time frame.