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SEDCOR: A vision for business (Woodburn Independent)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Elizabeth Peters
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Tyler Franke of the Woodburn Independent newspaper sat down with SEDCOR President Chad Freeman, Business Retention & Expansion Manager Nick Harville and Jim Hendryx, Woodburn economic and development services director to give readers an idea of what SEDCOR does for the community. Here is an excerpt from the story:


For an agency that prides itself on helping businesses expand and grow — and which has collected many success stories to that end in its 30-plus-year history, you may imagine Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR) didn’t have a whole lot to do during the recent economic downturn.


And you’d be wrong about that.

While it’s true that few businesses were aggressively seeking expansion when the nation suffered through a years-long recession, SEDCOR President Chad Freeman explained that in no way does that mean his agency was twiddling its thumbs.

“That was actually the time that we may have been the busiest we’ve ever been,” he said. “That really was one of our stronger times, working with companies to help make them strong enough to survive.”

Though it is often the massive expansions and, of course, the home run of having a new company relocate in your area, that gets press, Freeman said SEDCOR has learned over the years that a focus on retention and steady, sustainable growth — while less dramatic — often pays bigger dividends in the long run.


“We spend about 85 percent of our time working with companies that are already here, because we’ve found you’ve got to have strong local companies to attract new businesses to the area,” Freeman said.


Especially during the recession, he continued, “our focus was not recruitment as much as it was helping companies stay locally. Our challenge and our work was, ‘OK, how do we help this company quietly stay in place and be healthy?’”


Read the full story online


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