Economic Gardening



Economic Gardening for your business from Edward Lowe Foundation on Vimeo.



You know more about your company than anyone else. But like most CEOs you could probably use some help when it comes to decisions about new markets, generating sales leads or deriving more value from your website. We realize you wouldn’t typically look to economic development or entrepreneur support organizations for this type of help but that may be changing as we implement the Champaign County Chamber Economic Gardening Network.

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Economic Gardening® represents a new way of thinking about supporting growth companies and letting business owners know how important they are to our local economies. So instead of offering traditional incentives like tax credits or real estate discounts, we’re offering something that will be as valuable to you: information — strategic information — gathered with your guidance and specifically for your company. We’ve observed this model in many other areas around the country and we have seen what kind of impressive results it produces.

In contrast to traditional business assistance focused on finances, business plans and operational issues, Economic Gardening addresses strategic growth challenges such as developing new markets, refining business models and gaining access to competitive intelligence. To do this, teams of highly skilled research specialists mine sophisticated databases and leverage a number of high-end tools related to search engine optimization, social media marketing and geographic information systems.

Here’s how it works: Partnering with the National Center for Economic Gardening, we’ve set up a county-wide network to provide virtual access to teams of highly skilled research specialists that will be matched with a select group of qualifying companies. Using private conference calls and a secure online workspace this team will interview your company to help identify specific issues. The team devotes about 36 hours to each company over the course of a few weeks as they work quickly to deliver action-oriented information.

We emphasize the phrase “select group of qualifying companies” because this program is available only to companies that meet certain criteria — and is offered to them at no cost. As a growing company, you make a positive impact on our local economy. We want to help you make an even bigger impact. Economic Gardening services are specifically designed to help growing companies make better decisions while navigating the challenges associated with growth.

“Economic Gardening specialists enable CEOs to identify opportunities they may not be aware of and point them to new tools and information to apply immediately — which is why it’s ideal for second-stage companies,” says NCEG founder Chris Gibbons.