Mayor builds relationships through business retention visits


Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton reports another successful year for industry visits.

For the past six years, the cornerstone of the city’s economic development strategy has been its Business Retention & Expansion program. Understanding that more than 80% of new capital investment and jobs typically comes from a community’s existing business base is the reason that each year Barton and his economic development team meet with local leadership from area industry. The goal of these visits is three-fold: first and foremost, it maintains key relationships with area employers, second, it is an opportunity to learn about potential for future growth, and lastly, it is also a chance to learn of any challenges to which the city may be able to provide assistance.

In addition to meeting annually with area industry leaders, Barton also travels to the corporate headquarters of two or three industries each year. Similar to the local meetings, the headquarter visits allow Barton to build and maintain relationships with corporate leadership, show ongoing support for their respective Crawfordsville facility, and provide updates on the economy in Crawfordsville. This particular component of the economic development strategy has played an integral role in many of the local facilities’ growth. This year, Barton and his team completed 17 existing industry visits and four headquarters visits.

“While many communities are focused on new industry attraction, we recognize the importance of nurturing those industry who have invested in Crawfordsville and choose to remain and grow here,” Barton said. “Our long-term strategy is to maintain a collaborative business environment and our BR&E program helps us do that.”