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Students to help Cornelius businesses

New business recruitment, retention of existing businesses, and business opportunities and challenges highlighted the December meeting of the Cornelius Economic Development Commission (EDC).

“Commission members had a robust discussion about what approaches to take,” said City Manager Rob Drake. “We included targeting small- and medium-sized businesses, and focused on participating in an analysis in January that would point out our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.”

This “SWOT Analysis” will help update the commission’s adopted business plan.

Drake said that the commission will be asking such questions as: What do we have in Cornelius? How far can we go? What can we offer?

Cornelius is “open for business,” he said. “We have good infrastructure, lots of industrial property, and lots of downtown availability. I think the city has a wonderful future.”

Pacific University Associate Professor of Marketing Sheila Griffie attended the meeting to talk about using students from Pacific’s marketing department to help with a “business branding” effort.

“We won’t begin working with the city until the EDC gives us specific projects in February,” said Griffie, a longtime resident of Cornelius who has served on the city’s

planning and budget committees.

Using information from the SWOT analysis, students in Griffie’s upper-level Advertising and Promotion class will then begin working with city leaders to create materials and media for the project, such as an update of the city’s website, aiming to finish before the end of spring semester.

Griffie’s classes have previously worked with Centro Cultural and Care Partners of Washington County.

The SWOT analysis will occur at the EDC’s next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the

city council chambers’ conference room from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.