Editorial: Business center looks to have a bright future

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2002

Two budding businesses are the first to make their home in the new Albert Lea Business Development Center, and as more inevitably follow, Freeborn County will see the benefits of more commerce.

The ALBDC, a joint project of Greater Jobs, Inc., the Albert Lea Port Authority and Riverland Community College, is a simple idea: Give young businesses a place to grow, access to professional advice and access to equipment they might not otherwise be able to afford, and the businesses will have a much better chance of surviving than if they were out on their own.

Of course, the goal is to eventually nurture the companies along to the point where they can move out onto their own, and do so with the kind of strength that can ensure not only survival, but growth.

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So much of the public imagination when it comes to economic development involves getting companies to pick up and move to a new place, bringing established jobs along with it. The ALBDC takes a different approach, making an effort to develop the business ventures of local entrepreneurs. Homegrown businesses like these are easier to come by than large companies willing to relocate, and they have local roots, so they’ll be more likely to have loyalty to our community and its people.

Having a facility like this gives Albert Lea’s small business community another dimension and demonstrates the city’s willingness to take a progressive approach to development. It can only help efforts to grow the business community.