Orange County Partnership - News

Orange County Partnership Refocuses Business Retention and Expansion Efforts

Recognizing that the needs of existing business in Orange County is critical to its economic future, the Orange County Partnership is undertaking a major campaign to contact the hundreds of businesses it has provided assistance to over the past 15 years or more to ascertain their current and future needs.


Conor Eckert, Senior Development Officer and Vice President of Business Attraction for the Orange County Partnership, said serving the needs of existing businesses in Orange County, whether those involve efforts to keep a company in the county, or help facilitate a company’s expansion and growth needs “is the backbone of economic development.” While the Business Retention and Expansion work may not garner the news coverage that a new company building a new facility in Orange County might attract; the retained and new jobs generated by Orange County-based businesses are vitally important as well.


With that in mind, Eckert reported that the Orange County Partnership is reaching out to those firms that have received assistance and counsel from the Orange County Partnership and have already held site tours and have others scheduled as part of the campaign. The effort is initially focused on the industrial sector that includes manufacturing, distribution and the food and beverage sectors.


“We are looking to build new relationships with the hope of fielding new organic expansion leads and getting in front of any potential retention issues in the future,” he said.


Another potential benefit from the revamped BR&E effort is for the Orange County Partnership to learn the specific needs of a particular industry, such as unique workforce characteristics of that sector, even in cases where a firm does not have any expansion or retention issues at the moment. That knowledge can help in formulating future strategies for either the retention or attraction efforts the Partnership undertakes for another firm in that industry, Eckert relayed.


The new BR&E initiative was launched in early April and has already involved four site tours and resulted in a number of organic expansion leads. The number one issue firms contacted by the Orange County Partnership have at the moment relate to workforce and employing skilled workers to meet their growth needs, Eckert said.


“It is an exciting initiative to get out into the community and meet these company executives and reacquaint ourselves. The efforts thus far are leading to real economic development opportunities,” Eckert said.


Eckert is leading the BR&E campaign and is working closely with Sarah Brosnan-Nathanson, Director of Marketing for The Orange County Partnership, and Steve Gross, Economic Development Director for Orange County. The Partnership is also welcoming participation from municipal officials as well in their discussions with local companies.


Eckert believes that this will be an ongoing effort by the Partnership due to the strong demand, particularly in the manufacturing sector.


“We invite any Orange County company that wants to build a relationship or is considering an expansion or has retention issues, to please reach out to us,” Eckert said.


For more information on the Orange County Partnership’s Business Retention and Expansion programs, contact Conor Eckert at or call him at (845) 294-2323.