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When a defense base closes or when a large business relocates away from a community, the impact on existing businesses can be profound. Base closures impact all businesses throughout a community, including businesses that supply the base and/or offer goods and services to the base’s employees. Similar impacts result when a large business moves away from a community, but perhaps to a lesser degree. Conversely, if a large business relocates to a community, the existing businesses can benefit as suppliers to that business and its employees.

To minimize the negative impact on existing businesses when a base closes or when a business relocates away from a community,

a business assistance program can be key to the success of a community’s economic development efforts. Such a program is also beneficial to help facilitate the development of a supplier base for incoming businesses.

An effective business assistance program would offer complementary services to a community’s existing businesses to help them develop growth and/or survival strategies to manage disruptions before and during business relocations or base closures. These services would be paid for by federal agencies, business chambers, economic development agencies, and/or local municipalities.


Since every business is unique, the business assistance program would contract with professional consultants who have years of business experience in specific areas to help businesses address potential obstacles and to identify individual challenges and solutions.


Key services would include the following:


Business Outreach Liaison -- Private sector outreach liaisons would be contracted to collect and distribute ongoing project information between the project teams, contractors, agencies, municipalities, and businesses impacted by the closure and/or relocation projects.


Service examples include:

  • Facilitate public meetings and provide social media project updates. 

  • Provide fact sheets, project updates, timelines, and notices of public meetings.

  • Coordinate with businesses to ensure timely responses to concerns (e.g., business access, parking, utilities, scheduling conflicts, etc.).

  • Work with municipalities, agencies, contractors, etc. to solve unforeseen field issues (e.g., utilities, business access, traffic safety, etc.).

  • Explain and coordinate complimentary consulting services to potentially solve unexpected and/or impending impacts.


Business Consulting -- Private-sector business consultants will be contracted to assist businesses to prepare for unexpected and/or anticipated impacts and to implement best practices and services that mitigate potential declines in customers and revenues.


Service examples include:

  • Conduct analyses to identify potential opportunities and strategies to mitigate impacts.

  • Identify social media and marketing strategies to maintain and/or grow target markets.

  • Develop basic websites and social media platforms to expand market reach.

  • Conduct financial analyses and identify operating strategies to minimize losses and/or enhance profitability.

  • Offer graphic design services to create banners, access signs, fliers, detour maps, etc., to increase business exposure.

  • Provide customer service/upselling training for restaurants and retail businesses to maximize revenues.

  • Facilitate networking opportunities to expand markets and to share strategies.

For more information, contact our strategic partner, Steve Taylor, at

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