By Dale Kroop, Director of Economic and Community Development
I often joke that the good news is that Hamden has the lowest vacancy rates in industrial and office real estate of its peers in the region by far. The bad news is that Hamden has the lowest vacancy rates of its peers in the region. Get it?
We have also hardly lost any businesses due to factors we can control such as taxes, town services etc. This has created new challenges for growing the local
economy. So the Economic Development Commission, through our programs, incentives and support for the business community, has done a great job working with our office to help fill space throughout town. This is a good thing to boast about but also motivates us to continue to define our goals to help
business grow in new areas of town and to help them become more profitable and create mores jobs.
The fourth quarter of 2012 market review by CB Richard Ellis shows that Hamden has among the lowest vacancy rates in the New Haven region for Office and Industrial space. Hamden ranks the lowest for both categories in vacancy rates. Its 7.99 percent (down from 9.03% in 2010) vacancy rate for office space is significantly lower than Cheshire (22.60 percent), North Haven (14.89 percent), Milford (23.98 percent) and the region overall at 14.40 percent.
Hamden also places the lowest among many of it's peer communities at a rate of 5.58 percent (6.12 percent in 2010) vacancy rate in industrial space. This compares with Branford (14.29 percent), Cheshire (14.98 percent) and
West Haven (10.58 percent). The total regional industrial vacancy rate is 12.17 percent.
We regard these quarterly results as a reflection of their aggressive Business Incentive Program and strong Business Retention Cluster Initiatives.
"We are very pleased to see that the hard work of the Hamden Economic Development Commission has kept the Hamden business base strong despite
the recession," said Anthony Sacchetti, Chairman of the Economic Development Commission. "Our average square square foot costs for office and industrial space are consistent with the overall regional levels. This tells us businesses come to and stay in Hamden because of our many business incentives, our proactive business climate and because of the desirability of our community.
So Where Does Our Department Go From Here?
First, it is clear that because of the lack of vacancy we should value each and every property as an opportunity for growth. We should continue to focus on redevelopment of blighted properties and not allow them to stay fallow so we can maximize the revenue and jobs that they could create. This can be
accomplished in many ways either through the existing town programs or with the Hamden Economic Development Corporation.
Secondly we need to focus more than ever on business retention by offering services and programs that encourage local businesses to stay here and expand. We are engaged in many initiatives to help small business develop the resources to grow and expand.
Everyone knows it is small business that creates the most jobs and supports each other through local commerce. One of our goals in 2013 is to continue to work hard on business Retention by offering learning opportunities is programs and markets that will help them.
So in addition to our active Business Incentive Program and our other services, here are some new initiatives;
1. Economic Development 2013 Speaker Series (Second Tuesday of the month at Government Center
•April 9th: SBA Financing and Technical Assistance for small Businesses
•May 14th CT Works: Workforce Training Grants For Employers
2. Business Assistance Series: 7 - 930 p.m. each session at Government Center
•April 3rd: Business Formation
•April 11th: Financing and Managing Your Business
•April 25th: The Business Plan: “A How To”
•May 1st:: Insurance, Marketing and Creating Value for Your Business
All Series are free to Hamden residents. Hamden businesses and Hamden Chamber members. Please join us at these sessions.
For further information regarding the Town of Hamden's business incentives and other programs, go to www.hamden-ct.com or contact the Director of Economic and Community Development, Dale Kroop at 203-287-7030 or at email@example.com.
Dale Kroop has been the Director of Economic and Community Development for more than 13 years.