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City would benefit from retail recruiter

By Staff
Our opinion
Hartselle is open for business. That's the message city leaders want to get out to the public.
Sometimes, however, it seems that message is falling on deaf ears and surrounding areas are snatching up some prime business and retail candidates.
Hartselle is a bedroom community that offers a good education system, excellent quality of life and a taste of things "how they used to be."
Unfortunately, quaint doesn't attract business, at least not the kind of businesses that can shore up a city's tax base. Hartselle needs to land a big fish and to do that, we must put our best foot forward.
To be attractive to business – both big and small – we have to present an image of cohesiveness and professionalism.
Many cities have found the task of recruiting business too large and have turned to a retail recruiter to handle the job for them. And while some would argue Hartselle can't afford a retail recruiter working for the city, others will say it can't afford not to move ahead with growth.
Retail recruiters are often employed through the chamber of commerce in a community, with funding for the position coming from the city. Their job is to bring retail development to an area. Ideally, they are non-partisan, outwardly focused and receive incentives for the number of retail developments they bring to an area. This frees the local chamber of commerces to concentrate on serving the existing businesses and promoting their growth and development.
Hartselle's local businesses are generally strong and motivated to grow. However, market gaps still exist in the city and there is room for new development. A retail recruiter could help ensure that growth and get Hartselle ready for the future.

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