City officials were also on hand at the Municipal Complex. Mayor Sam Wright was joined by Council President James Heigl and Councilman Kenneth Horn, Walter Jacobson and Manuell Smith.
Calvin Miller, executive director for the EDA, said the event gave area representatives a chance to inform industries benefits available to new companies are also available to them.
He also said statistics show that most new jobs don’t come from new business.
“Seventy-six percent of your capital investment and your new jobs come from existing industry,” Miller said. “In rural areas, that number can go up to as high as 86 to 90 percent.”
Wright said his role as a city official was to act in a public relations capacity but to be able to handle tasks if called upon.
“We let them do their job and we stand ready to help in any way we can,” he said. “It takes everybody working together in industrial development.”
Dalbert Marsh of the IDB said it was important for representatives of the city and industry to meet. He said the sharing of resources between the two could lead to prosperity for both.
“Competition is so crazy right now that nobody wants to share very much information,” Marsh said. “But we’re going to try to go in and help them, to find if there are resources elsewhere that would make them more competitive.”
IDB member Raymond Styres addressed the crowd. He said the board wanted to help local businesses be successful by addressing any needs they could.
“We want to help you grow and prosper, to keep what we’ve got and add to what we’ve got,” Styres said. “I know we get accused sometimes of spending all our time getting new industry but we wanted to let you know that we’re interested in all of you too.”
He added the board approved a plan to do periodic visits with businesses to help them as they move forward.
Mark Vincent, Human Resource manager for Imerys, was there as a representative for his company. He said it was important for industries to be a part of the community and work with local representatives.
“We are a provider of jobs and a tax base,” Vincent said. “We’re all trying to do the best we can for our own purposes but we believe we’ll be more successful as we work together.”