Martin County's Economic Development Authority is different than the standard model. Its focus is on helping entrepreneurs start, stabilize and grow their businesses. It does this by uniting business owners with consultants and resources they need to be successful.
All of this is an alternative approach to the more familiar notions of having an industrial park, or spec buildings, or tax incentives or loans ready to go. Not that there is anything wrong with this standard approach. It's just that it already exists in places like the city of Fairmont. Martin County's effort complements what Fairmont and other cities are doing.
This week, the county EDA issued its annual report, detailing its record. The report says that in 2011 the EDA helped stabilize 10 businesses, helped seven expand and helped five get up and running. About 30 jobs were saved or created. In addition, the EDA helped the businesses involved secure about $2 million in investment capital.
We are encouraged by what the EDA has been able to do in just a few short years. Its record has won it recognition for thinking outside the box. We wish it continued success in the years to come.