Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Download Presentations from ‘Tools for Supporting Local Businesses for Economic Resiliency’ Workshop

A day long workshop was held in Prestonsburg, Kentucky on May 9, 2014 on tools for supporting local businesses for economic resiliency. The interactive workshop focused on strategies that can support small and home-based businesses without a formal business retention and expansion program.

The presentations provided each attendee with a toolbox of ideas, strategies and lessons learned from best practice case studies to employ in working with local businesses. Presenters Art Brown, CEcD, of LeScot Enterprises in Atlanta and Jason Ford, CEcD, of Louisiana Economic Development shared their experience and inside tips with attendees on how to be successful in working with small and home-based businesses. Tom Harned, CEcD, FM, of Logan Economic Alliance for Development facilitated the workshop and shared his insights on how to apply the lessons presented in the Eastern Kentucky region.

The presentations below highlight strategies and tools to:

•           Build relationships with local businesses
•           Outreach to home-based businesses
•           Develop and run campaigns to help businesses connect with local customers
•           Leverage local assets and programs already in the region that can help small and home-based businesses.

Click here to download the presentations!


8:30 – 9:00       Registration and Networking
9:00 – 9:15        Welcome and Introduction
9:15 – 11:00      Introduction to Business Retention and Expansion Strategies
11:00 – 11:15    Break
11:15 – 12:15     Interactive Case Study
12:15 – 1:30        Lunch on your Own
1:30 – 2:45         Working with Businesses: Getting to Know Your Local Businesses
2:45 – 3:00        Break
3:00 – 4:15       Working with Businesses: Connecting Businesses to Local Customers
4:20 – 5:00       Discussion: Applying the Lessons Learned

Workshop Facilitator

Tom Harned CEcD FM
Executive Director
Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD)

Tom is a native of Warren County Kentucky coming to Logan County after being in Virginia for forty years. He most recently served as the Director of the Virginia Institute for Economic Development and Industrial Developments Authorities at Virginia Tech. He was Vice President of the Martinsville-Henry County Virginia Economic Development Corporation, and the Director of Economic Development for the City of Martinsville, VA. He has held various executive positions in the manufacturing, lumber and construction industries.

Tom’s education and professional accomplishments include Certified Economic Developer; graduate of the Virginia Institute for Economic Development at Virginia Tech; the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma; graduate of the Economic Development Course at the University of North Carolina; MBA, Duke University; and a Bachelor of Science from Western Kentucky University.

Tom served on the International Economic Development Council, Board of Directors Executive Committee and as President of the Virginia Economic Developers Association. He recently served on the WKU Alumni Association Board of Directors and as President of the Russellville Rotary Club. He is currently serving on committees for the Kentucky Association for Economic Development and Kentuckians for Better Transportation.

His successful projects include the establishment of a new business park with a shell building, a new industrial park, recruiting new employers creating  over two thousand new jobs, a Small Business Development Center, a small business incubator, a new Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service  Center, several industrial expansions, a new Farmers’ Market, a residential  subdivision development, a shopping center development and several  adaptive reuse redevelopment projects.


Jason Ford, CEcD
Assistant Director, Business Expansion & Retention Group Louisiana Economic Development (LED)

Jason Ford is a certified economic developer whose work has been recognized with three national awards for Excellence in Economic Development.

Since 1995, Jason has gained progressive tiers of responsibility to lead in local, regional and state-level economic development organizations across three states. His career wins include tens of thousands of direct jobs created or retained by Fortune 500 companies, multinationals, start ups and entrepreneurs. His portfolio spans 450 projects for corporate relocations, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, startups, and business expansion projects.

Jason started his early career in north Mississippi at the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce and EDF. As Assistant Executive Director, Jason managed member relations and added new insurance- and Internet-products which helped grow membership year over year.

After working for several years in boutique technology and design firms in Dallas, Texas, Jason relocated to Austin to became a regional economic development leader at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce where he specialized in recruiting advanced manufacturing, wireless, digital media, and automotive companies. Jason was a member of the nationally-recognized team which focused heavily on marketing and building eco-systems as part of Austin’s reknown technology-led economic development initiative.

Due to his success in Austin, Jason was recruited to lead the Taylor EDC where he pushed the rural suburb of Austin through one of its most aggressive industrial growth periods in more than 20 years. Under his leadership as President/CEO, the EDC was transformed and garnered multiple awards for best-in-class economic development programs.

In 2012, Jason returned to his home state of Louisiana where was appointed by Secretary Stephen Moret as Special Projects Officer in the Business Retention & Expansion Group (BERG) at LED. In his current role, Jason provides business development assistance to economic driver employers and high-growth companies that are expanding, reorganizing, or diversifying their operations. In only 18 months, Governor Jindal announced more than 3,000 retained and new jobs by Jason’s efforts.

Jason received his B.A. in Economics from Ole Miss and later completed graduate-level coursework in GIS and public affairs from The University of Texas at Dallas. He is a graduate of Economic Development Institute (at Indianapolis), and received his CEcD designation from IEDC. Jason is among the top third of all economic developers who passed all parts of the rigorous certification exam in just one sitting.
Jason has previously taught Economic Development Marketing and Attraction for IEDC in San Antonio and Business Retention & Expansion at LSU’s Executive Education Center.


 Arthur Brown
LeScot Enterprises, Inc.

LeScot is a consulting firm that offers business, marketing and economic development assistance and training.   Art received his undergraduate training in Business Administration from North Carolina A&T State University and an MBA from Atlanta University.

Art’s past work experience includes the Georgia Institute of Technology where his skills were refined in economic development, internet marketing and procurement and business development assistance.  He is now a contractor for Georgia Tech’s Electronic Commerce Resource Center.  He was also formerly employed by General Motors, Buick Motor Division and AMTAR Incorporated.

Art is currently a Board Member of the DeKalb Enterprise Business Corporation (DEBCO) and serves on the loan committee of the Georgia Small Business Capital.  He is also a past President of the Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI), an organization established to promote  retention and expansion of existing business as a viable economic strategy, past president of the National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers (NAMTAC).  He is a past board member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) and has held several committee chairs and is a current member.  He is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a Certified Master Consultant/Instructor (CMC) by the Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI), certified trainer by NeighborWorks and certified EQ Mentor by EQ Mentor Inc.

He is also very active in his church serving as a Trustee, member of the Board of Directors of the church Learning Center and chairs the Business Alliance.  He also is a member of the North Carolina A&T State University Sports Hall of Fame and serves as Treasurer and is Past President and member of the Metro Atlanta Aggie Club.


This workshop was funded in part by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. IEDC would like to provide thanks to the following partners: