The Herald Bulletin

April 11, 2013

Elwood inventories strengths, weaknesses

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

ELWOOD, Ind. — Elwood is taking a hard look at its strengths and weaknesses.

Mayor Ron Arnold said Thursday the city will conduct an analysis of its abilities, along with opportunities and threats to future economic growth, as a part of a new campaign to attract business.

“It’s important that as a city we know how we stack up as compared to the rest of the state,” Arnold said, “And work to make sure businesses know about the opportunities we have here in Elwood.”

The campaign would be handled by Elwood Redevelopment Commission adviser Alan Moore and Economic Development Director Bill Savage.

“I have seen great progress in the area of economic development the last few years,” Savage said, “And this project is a critical part of taking the next step in terms of business attraction.”

Among the first tasks, Moore said, will be to “gather public input both online and in person to see what the public thinks are the strengths and weaknesses of Elwood.”  

One concern is the high number of empty stores in the city, which paints a less-than-promising future for developers.

The project will seek to identify and remedy such problems, and play up the features developers might find attractive.

“We have to keep working to attract new businesses,” Arnold said, “both large-scale employers and retail opportunities to better use the assets we have.”

A part of that will involve visits to other similarly sized cities, which would help the team see how Elwood stacks up and offer a “clear picture of what is the competitive edge that Elwood has as compared to other communities,” Moore said.

Arnold added, “We need to know what other cities are doing, and what opportunities might be a good fit for here. This will be an important part of the process.”

A driver in moving the project forward has been Elwood City Council President Tim Roby, who said, “Getting more businesses in Elwood is an issue that I think everyone can agree is critical.”

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