The city of Delaware’s economic development website is called www.delawaremeansbusiness.com — and to date, it has.
A month after its launch date of Aug. 3, the site attracted 929 users who visited 1,151 times. In the second month, there were 817 visits by 641 users.
By way of comparison, the previous economic development page within the city’s website had 660 visits in all of 2014.
“We basically surpassed an entire year of traffic to the old page within one month of the new dedicated website,” said city economic development director Sean Hughes in an email. “We have seen tremendous performance gains and it has definitely increased the amount of phone traffic.”
The site’s homepage includes property for sale or lease in the city (there are currently 68), business incentives and assets, and information about some of Delaware’s 1,900 businesses.
There are links at the top of the page to “locate your business,” “grow your business,” “start a business” and resources. The “locate your business” link includes a database of available business sites, and guides to infrastructure and the development process. The “grow your business” link includes information on financing and strategic partnerships with local schools, banks and organizations. The “start a business” link goes through the four steps in starting a business. The “resources” link includes information on building and construction permits and maps, plans, studies and reports.
“We are excited to have a dedicated portal for businesses of all sizes to access sites, buildings, incentives, assets, processes, applications and guides to doing business in the city of Delaware,” said City Manager Tom Homan, in a statement when the site was launched. “This is a great extension of our business concierge approach to partnering with businesses to assist with their success.”
Although the economic development site can be accessed through the city’s site — www.delawareohio.net — Hughes is glad for the dedicated site.
“Stand-alone economic development websites are truly necessary to allow specific audiences to access information they need for decision making and assistance without having to navigate information in a community website that is not directed at them,” Hughes said. “With one audience in particular, site consultants, 80 percent have said that they will try to do their research on a website first before even reaching out to someone in that community. They say if the website is not easily navigated and doesn’t have proper information, they automatically drop that community.”
In a survey taken earlier this year, economic development was considered the most important issue by city residents.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.