Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

2017 Webinar Series



March 21, 2017 – Fostering an Entrepreneurial Environment in Small & Rural Communities

Even in a city with many resources for entrepreneurs, the concept of self-employment can seem daunting to many people. It’s that much more difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs in small and rural communities. Many residents in these communities may have ideas, but need help during the startup process, as well as a supportive network of resources to expand and thrive. Join IEDC to understand how you can cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in your community that leads to homegrown jobs and economic growth.

Webinar speakers will show you how to:

• Introduce a culture of entrepreneurship
• Develop entrepreneurship support programs
• Incorporate lessons learned from small communities’ entrepreneurship programs

Click here to download the webinar recording


April 18, 2017 – Putting the Pieces Back Together – Creative Financing for Small Businesses Post-Disaster

In the wake of a disaster, small businesses often are more financially vulnerable than large businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of local economies, providing essential goods and services such as groceries, fuel, childcare, and healthcare. It is important, therefore, that economic development organizations plan to provide additional assistance to small businesses following a disaster – particularly to address cash flow and capital shortfalls. Join IEDC as this webinar explores the many financing avenues post-disaster to assist small businesses.

Attend this to access:

• Tips and strategies you can emulate in your community to financially assist small businesses
• Techniques from professionals who have experienced the struggles of a disaster
• Avenues of financing beyond the typical post-disaster funding

Click here to download the webinar recording


May 11, 2017 – Bolstering Your Economy with Tourism

Many small and rural communities have attractions of historic, cultural, or natural significance, but no real foot traffic visiting them. Developing a stronger tourism program – through business and product development, plus creative packaging and marketing – can increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as enhance your region’s visibility and image. Join IEDC as we explore rural tourism development and how it can benefit your local economy.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• Ways that tourism development can be used to build your economy
• Strategies to implement in the short, medium, and long-term
• How other communities have capitalized on existing assets to grow tourism opportunities

Click here to download the webinar recording


May 25, 2017 – Making the Permitting Process for Recovery and Resilience Better and Faster

After a disaster, your local permitting process can become overwhelmed with an influx of businesses trying to rebuild. Permitting for businesses to grow and rebuild after a disaster can be an issue overlooked until a disruption occurs. Streamlining the process before an event occurs can not only help your businesses recover more quickly post-disaster, but also help businesses establish more quickly when not in a disaster. Join IEDC and presenters as they discuss strategies and tips from real-world examples of how to expedite and streamline the permitting process.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• How the permitting process can impact your economic recovery.
• Strategies for expediting and streamlining the permitting process.
• Tips on what to do now before a disruption occurs.


June 22, 2017 – Building Small Communities’ Economic Resilience through Marketing and Business Recruitment

Are your rural region’s strengths being marketed effectively for business recruitment? Attracting new businesses is a key element of many communities’ economic development programs, but there are more and less effective ways to go about it. No matter the size of your staff, budget or community, strategies exist that can be implemented to either bolster or begin effective business recruitment. Join IEDC to learn how to grow your rural economy through impactful community marketing.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• Proven tips and strategies for community marketing and business recruitment
• How to maximize your time and resources in marketing and recruitment
• Ideas and examples of successful recruitment from small communities


July 20, 2017 – Staying on the Ready: Strategies for Communities Welcoming Evacuees

A storm is a brewing and communities in nearby jurisdictions are being evacuated. Being along the evacuation route often means the relocation of evacuees to your community. Depending on the damages faced by the evacuated communities, your community and local businesses can be responsible for providing support services to these evacuees for an undefined period of time. Join us in July to learn strategies on how to best support evacuees while addressing the needs of the community’s citizens.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• The ways a community can support evacuees
• Strategies to balance the needs of the business community with those of the evacuees
• Integrate long-term evacuees into the community


July 27, 2017 – What’s Cooking? Niche Food Businesses, That’s What!

Niche foods are trending. Why? Because American palates are becoming more adventurous and demanding, leading to new business opportunities for farmers, gardeners, home cooks, bakers and others. Yet budding niche food entrepreneurs need help figuring out how to turn their hobbies into businesses. Helping them start and grow a profitable business operation enables them to serve the local community, export beyond the region, provide jobs, generate wealth and increase the overall quality of life. Discover how your community can leverage all the benefits that come along with niche foods.

Again a plateful of information about:

• How to assess your community’s potential to support a food industry cluster
• Essential elements of programs geared toward supporting food entrepreneurs
• How to other communities’ successes can inform your own strategies


August 15, 2017 – Leveraging Transportation Routes for New Opportunities in Rural Areas

The ability to move goods and people in, out and around a community is a key ingredient of its economic success. Highways, rail lines, airports and ports are assets frequently examined by firms looking for new locations to establish operations. How can your region best enhance, market and leverage these critical connections to available land, workers and suppliers? This webinar will examine how to get the most out of your transportation assets to grow your industrial base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Effectively market transportation assets to business location consultants and corporate real estate directors
• Develop and connect your community’s narrative around workforce, land and regional assets to transportation networks
• Capture opportunities around new transportation routes, trends and technologies


August 24, 2017 – Reinvigorating Downtown: Strategies to Drive Traffic Post-Disaster

Downtown is the heart of many communities. It is the local gathering spot, the place to shop local, and the place to be part of the community. When a disaster strikes downtown, citizens can feel disconnected or lost. Returning downtown into a thriving center of activity is an essential part of the recovery. Come along with us in August as IEDC explores the ins and outs of rebuilding post-disaster and driving traffic into impacted downtowns.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• What to consider when rebuilding downtown
• How to create an inviting atmosphere for locals and visitors to downtown
• How communities have been successful at creating a thriving downtown post-disaster


September 14, 2017 – Retail Boomtowns: Creating an Atmosphere for Retail Attraction

In a rural region, a thriving retail sector is a phenomenal asset, bringing in both people and tax revenues. Though many national retailers gravitate towards larger cities, with the right strategies, small communities also can earn their attention and investment. Discover how your community can lay the groundwork for retail attraction and creatively tell its story to gain the interest of local, regional and national firms, growing both employment opportunities and the tax base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Use data and visuals to tell your community’s retail story
• Create programs to encourage local and regional retailers to open stores
• Learn how other small communities have become retail hubs and identify replicable strategies


The “2017 Disaster Preparedness & Economic Recovery “ webinar series is supported by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).