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Posted on: May 9, 2022

Stakeholder meetings to direct economic development strategic plan

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A series of stakeholder engagement meetings are underway as part of the City of Batavia's efforts to create its first economic development strategic plan. 

City staff are holding focus group sessions with members of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia MainStreet, businesses, residents and community leaders to collect feedback for the plan. During these engagement sessions, attendees participate in a SWOT analysis for the city of Batavia. SWOT analysis is a strategic management technique used to help organizations identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats existing in the current environment that affect the target strategic initiatives.  

The information gathered during the engagement meetings will help the city create an economic development strategic plan with measurable objectives and action plans to achieve the objectives within an identified timeframe, said Batavia’s Economic Development Manager Shannon Malik Jarmusz.  

“We are conducting these sessions to solicit feedback on Batavia’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats so we can find consensus on key items,” Jarmusz said. "The feedback will be delivered to city council for prioritization and refinement of business retention and recruitment practices in Batavia.”  

The economic development strategic plan is one of the goals within the city’s 2021-2023 strategic action plan.  

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected many sectors of Batavia’s economy, particularly the Randall Road retail corridor which has seen vacancies rise. The city is making a concentrated effort to recruit new businesses to fill those vacancies, as well as promoting opportunities for growing businesses to move into larger locations within the city.  

The first stakeholder meeting held in May included the board members from the Batavia Chamber of Commerce. Participants shared their ideas about what types of businesses they think would be a good fit for Batavia. They also completed an exercise to prioritize which challenges were the most pressing.  

Margaret Perreault, president and CEO of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce participated in the first stakeholder meeting. 

"I thought it was an excellent way for the city to learn what some of our business leaders in Batavia believe are the challenges we face in attracting and retaining businesses here. It was also interesting to discuss ideas for opportunities and ideas for attracting business that would make a great fit for our community," Perreault said. 

Jarmusz said the results from the stakeholder meetings will be presented to the city council later this year.

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