Wilton aims to spur economic development

>Town will implement new initiative beginning this fall

WILTON – This fall, the town will begin imple­menting a local econom­ic development program that will continue into next year, said Jennifer Beck, chairman of the Wilton Economic Team.

The team will work with the University of New Hampshire Cooper­ative Extension to survey the town’s business com­munity to identify proj­ects that will support business interests.

"This initiative is a great first step for the team," said Dan Dono­van, the selectman mem­ber of the team. "There is nothing more essential than helping our existing businesses thrive and expand."

The main objective of the Business Retention and Expansion Program is to assist businesses al­ready here.

Andre Garron, state specialist for economic development, said exist­ing businesses account for 70-80 percent of all new jobs in the country.

Volunteers will be re­cruited and trained over the course of the next few months to visit lo­cal businesses to gather information on the com­panies’ needs, criticisms and concerns about the town. This information will be reviewed by a task force of community leaders and economic development profession­als who will assist them in the development of strategies to help the businesses.

Training sessions will be held for volunteers during the week of Sept. 12. Any Wilton resident interested in helping should email Beck at jenniferscottbeck@ gmail.com.

The leadership team consists of Beck; Dono­van, business resources; Jackie Kahle, marketing; Christine Devine and Tina Smith, business re­search; and Harry Dailey, program manager.

Community members include D.J. Garcia, Richard Putnam, Mike McGonagle and Nancy Clark. Several more will be added in the near fu­ture.

For more information about the program, call Beck at 654-5526. For in­terviews, email Kahle at jrkahle@comcast.net.