What is Business/Retail Attraction? A word from Meggie-Froman Knight
October 23, 2021
One of the most common questions our economic development team is asked is how we recruit businesses and retail locations to Claremore, or “Why doesn’t Claremore have a (insert your favorite store or restaurant)?”. Attraction is undoubtedly one of the more “eye-catching” elements of economic development; however, its success lies within a strong holistic economic development program.
Claremore’s central positioning, short commute times, and low tax and regulatory environment make it a prime candidate for business growth and expansion. The Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA) partners with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Tulsa Regional Chamber to showcase Claremore, including its available industrial properties. This multiple-step process comprises of requests for proposals (RFPs), site visits, and meetings with local government officials. Typically, we know the business sector and product; however, the company name is not revealed until the final stages of the site selection process.
When a company is considering relocating or expanding to our community, they often look for available acreage, access to multi-modal transportation, utility access and infrastructure, workforce availability, talent pipeline, state and local incentives, and much more. In economic development, we say that business attraction is a marathon, not a sprint. The process can be a multi-year endeavor. However, all the hard work pays off when we can welcome a new company to our community.
Retail attraction looks slightly different. We often hear from the community that a specific business would succeed in Rogers County, and we usually agree! However, when considering a site for a new retail endeavor, a few significant factors come into consideration, including local population, average household income, the total number of rooftops, and proximity to current established locations. The recently announced residential developments and the Highway 20 rerouting project will help increase Claremore’s positioning as a candidate for national retail expansion.
This year alone, we have had numerous exciting retail announcements, including five national retail brands. We are confident that these announcements will catalyze future economic growth. In addition, CIEDA partners with a national retail consultant, Retail Strategies, to market Rogers County as a premium retail destination. We cannot express our gratitude for their efforts. Their collaboration has been vital in attracting many new shopping and dining locations our residents now enjoy.
The team at CIEDA is committed to showcasing Rogers County as the premier destination to live, work and do business. While attraction efforts are a primary objective for our organization, success lies in our community’s ability to offer a robust talent pipeline, quality infrastructure, various unique housing options, and quality of life amenities for residents to enjoy. I am excited to continue highlighting the many aspects of our holistic economic development over the coming weeks.
All my best,
Executive Director, CIEDA