WREDC, Chamber in midst of business outreach effort

WORTHINGTON -- The message is simple: We're here to help. That's the goal of a new effort undertaken by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. (WREDC), as the agencies are working together to ...

WORTHINGTON -- The message is simple: We’re here to help.

That’s the goal of a new effort undertaken by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce and Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. (WREDC), as the agencies are working together to reach out to independent and minority-owned businesses.

“Our objective is to learn more about their needs and position our resources to better serve their needs,” WREDC Executive Director Abraham Algadi said.


The WREDC and Chamber are utilizing a $12,000 Southwest Initiative Foundation grant and conducting a business retention and expansion survey as part of the outreach. As a result, the hope is that there will be an increased awareness of the multiple ways both agencies can help in the community.

The survey, a product of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Grow Minnesota! Program, addresses such topics as facilities, products/services, workforce, market information, investment plans, community strengths/weaknesses and public policy concerns.

“This particular effort is targeting small, independent businesses, ma and pa shops, primarily within the minority community,” Algadi said. “We’re hoping to wrap this up by the end of August sometime. … We’re trying to let folks know that we’re available to take on some of the burden, if you will. They (small-business owners) are very glad to hear from us, and some of them share some pent-up frustrations. When you’re in business, sometime you speak a different language than someone on the regulatory side of things, for example … and that’s one way we can help.”

“Worthington is a welcoming community and its small businesses are very important to us,” Chamber Executive Director Darlene Macklin added. “The Chamber and WREDC want to make sure we understand their needs and cater to their well-being and continued growth.”


Algadi said he hopes the outreach effort will also enhance the awareness that agencies like WREDC can facilitate with private investment. He and Macklin are both hopeful that financial institutions and loan agencies will also step up in enhancing economic development in the community once local businesses learn more about what services the Chamber and WREDC can provide.

“If there’s anything we say, we would love for our business partners to reach out to us, and come to the Chamber to talk to Darlene or come talk to me to share concerns and share issues,” Algadi said. “We think that only through direct engagement that we can better serve our customers.”

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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