Expert: Rutland has room for retail growthBy Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | March 20,2013Rutland could use more toy stores, book stores and restaurants, according to a business consultant.
Tripp Muldrow of Arnett, Muldrow and Associates in South Carolina performed the marketing study commissioned by the Downtown Rutland Partnership in 2009. Wednesday, he offered the audience at the Rutland Business Summit an update to the data he collected.
“Rutland is among the most regional markets in which we’ve ever worked,” he said. “You serve as a commercial center for a very large geography. ... That puts Rutland at a distinct advantage because you are that center, you are the city for this region.”
The event Wednesday, attended by about 25 people at the Franklin Conference Center, featured almost a dozen speakers, most of them listing the various resources available to people looking to start or expand a business in Rutland.
“People talk about, ‘there’s no help for business in Vermont,’” said Jamie Stewart, executive director of the Rutland Economic Development Corp. “I’ve heard that so many times, and it’s usually because they haven’t reached out.”
Stewart said he and his organization can connect an existing or potential business to a wide variety of resources at the state and federal level, putting business owners with a specific person who will walk them through the process. He said the most important piece of information he wanted to get out was his phone number: 773-9147.
“If you see that you have an opportunity in your business, come and talk to us,” Stewart said. “We’ll see where we can help you. ... If you’re talking to someone who’s talking about starting their own business, send them our way. We can save them from spending money, we can save them from spinning their wheels, we can save them a lot of time.”
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