REDI Helps Rockville Businesses Pivot Away from the Pandemic
The nonprofit charged with helping businesses launch, locate and expand in Rockville spent the most recent fiscal year preparing for a post-pandemic rebound, Rockville Economic Development, Inc., said in its annual report.
“Over the past few years, REDI’s focus has been on helping local businesses adapt to the changing needs throughout the pandemic,” stated the report for Fiscal Year 2022, which ended June 30. “Now as we are coming out of the pandemic, there is a need to respond to the shift in how businesses use office space as well as attract and retain employees.”
REDI CEO Cindy Rivarde and members of REDI’s board presented the report to the Mayor and Council on Sept. 12. The report detailed REDI’s focus on business retention, expansion and attraction; support for city projects; workforce alignment; marketing; and small business assistance. The report included:
- A survey of over 7,000 Rockville-area businesses to gauge their needs, while meeting with the brokerage and development community to understand how the city is perceived in relation to competitors.
- Assisting with permit services to attract Tetracore, a biotechnology company that brought 150 jobs to Rockville.
- Revamping the Incentive Review Committee to improve access to grants through REDI’s Small Business Impact Fund.
- Hiring consultants who assessed the economic impact of land use category changes on Research Boulevard and a market analysis of the King Farm Farmstead.
- Collaborating with city staff to present the Mayor and Council with strategies for annexing properties into Rockville.
- Working with city staff to develop a market report of the city’s shopping centers.
- Creating a forum for area businesses to discuss how to help businesses attract talented workers.
- Hiring a full-time communications manager with tourism, economic development and marketing experience to staff a revived Marketing Committee.
- Launching the Rock East District, the city’s first commercial district.
- Partnering with Visit Montgomery to launch a tourism website at ExploreRockville.org.
- Adding seven Maryland Women’s Business Center Advisory Board members to participate in strategic planning for MWBC.
- Gaining GrowthWheel Framework certification for MWBC business consultants, enabling them to better assist small businesses in planning for sustainable growth.
- Facilitating over 70 entrepreneurship workshops for over 2,500 attendees.