Businesses in Marshall County 'strong'

PLYMOUTH — Times may be hard, but businesses in Marshall County are fighting back.

“It has been interesting to see how Marshall County businesses have adapted,” said Marshall County Economic Development (MCED) director Jennifer Laurent in the county council meeting Monday.

Laurent visited the council to give an update on MCED and to discuss what the organization can do for the county.

She said that the tasks of MCED can be narrowed down to three main objectives: marketing for new businesses, business retention, and entrepreneurial development.

“It’s my job to position Marshall County at the regional level,” said Laurent. “We are trying to have a little bit bigger footprint.”

Laurent discussed the importance of all the municipalities in the county working together to attract new businesses. She mentioned the recent debate over wind energy, saying, “My hope is that we don’t become a divided community over something like this.”

Laurent also added that MCED is trying to work with wind development companies rather that against them.

“For the most part we’ve seen transparency and (the companies) trying to go though all the right steps,” said Laurent.

MCED offers free small business counseling once a month and in the future may host economic workshops for little or no cost to area business owners. Subjects for these workshops might include: starting a business, marketing approaches, incentive trends, and TIF (tax increment financing).

Laurent emphasized that MCED is an advocate for businesses and wishes to provide as many resources as possible to new or existing organizations. “We’ve got some very strong Marshall County businesses,” said Laurent.