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Economic Development & Tourism Goal 1

Strengthen and support local business development and business retention, while embracing the need for a diverse mix of uses and innovative business types.

1.1 Develop Enhanced Telecommunications Infrastructure

STRATEGY: Support and facilitate the development of enhanced telecommunications infrastructure and similar technological improvements throughout the community.

JUSTIFICATION: The development of these improved facilities will help local businesses thrive and grow, as well as to attract and foster the growth of communications-dependent enterprises.

1.2 Establish Business Improvement Programs

STRATEGY: Develop a program to assist local businesses with enhancing their environmental and financial sustainability through gains in energy efficiency, reduced utility costs and similar practices that can increase their competitiveness.

JUSTIFICATION: Due to the age of many of the structures in the business district, a need exists to provide information on improving the energy efficiency of operating a business in a historic property. New businesses will also benefit from general business improvement practices to help them sustain and grow profits in a responsible manner.

1.3 Implement a Buy Local Compaign

STRATEGY: Work with local business groups and Shepherd University to develop and implement a “buy local” campaign.

JUSTIFICATION: The purpose of the program is to help improve the frequency with which local businesses are chosen by residents and other businesses in the community as their goods and services.

1.4 Institute an Entrepreneurship Program

STRATEGY: Develop business mentoring and entrepreneurship programs that connect Shepherd University with local businesses to encourage young entrepreneurs to start businesses in town, while matching local businesses with students for internship and potential future full-time employment.

JUSTIFICATION: An opportunity exists to retain recent graduates that have a desire to start and grow a business locally. Infusing young and talented entrepreneurs into the local economy can help Shepherdstown ensure a vibrant future.

1.5 Collaborate with Creative Arts Industry Start-Ups

STRATEGY: Work with the visual and performing arts communities to support their commercial ventures and help to ensure that they have sufficient resources available to become and remain a part of Shepherdstown’s business community.

JUSTIFICATION: Start-up creative arts businesses need specialized assistance in running their creative ventures as a business. Local business leaders and resources from Shepherd University can be made available to help

1.6 New Business Ribbon Cutting Program

STRATEGY: Provide visible support from the town, such as public announcements, ribbon cuttings by elected officials, Shepherdstown Business Association, Shepherd University and similar actions when new locally owned businesses are opened.

JUSTIFICATION: It is important to raise awareness and build local support within the community when new businesses open up or expand. This increased support will help business start on a good note.

1.7 Pursue Coordinated Business Hours and Promotions

STRATEGY: Work closely with the Shepherdstown Business Association and other business leaders to develop coordinated marketing campaigns and extended business operation hours.

JUSTIFICATION: Local businesses working together can stretch their limited resources through joint marketing and advertising campaigns. Working together on coordinated and extended hours of operation can help create an improved evening atmosphere and encourage new business start-ups that can bring a new and vibrant nightlife to the German Street / Downtown Business area.