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Downtown business retention, expansion program offered

Estacada leaders may be making efforts to attract new business downtown, but they also want to keep the businesses they have.

The city of Estacada and the Estacada Development Association are partnering for a new program called “Jumpstart 2015: A Downtown Business Retention and Expansion Program.”

The effort is led by Terra Wilcoxson, the Economic Development Manager for the city of Estacada, Nancy Hoffman, executive director of the Estacada Development Association, and Paul Strobel, who leads the association’s committee on downtown business development.

“The Jumpstart Team is available to help businesses set and then follow through with a plan to accomplish specific goals,” the team wrote. “Goals might include expanding their online presence, accessing additional training for their staff, or expanding their most profitable product lines.”

In a letter introducing the program in November, Hoffman said the team will “provide one-on-one retention or expansion support to at least five downtown area businesses in 2014-2015.”

Through interviewing businesses, the team hopes to gather ideas for programs, incentives or services local business people would like to see offered through the Estacada Development Association, Estacada Urban Renewal Agency or the city.

In an effort to gauge the current state of downtown businesses, the jumpstart team disseminated a survey to local establishments.

Beyond basic questions about the business, the survey asked whether the business had reduced staff or planned to increase it, whether the business had an online presence, whether they would recommend Estacada for locating a business, etc.

The survey closed in January, but the team said additional responses are welcome.

Results have not been tabulated yet.

The team said that once the project concludes, a report on the findings will be circulated to all interested.

“We plan to repeat the survey every 1-2 years so we can gauge how the business climate in Estacada evolves,” they said.

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