New Regional Economic Group Eyes Teamwork

BERLIN – A new group will provide local economic development officials with the chance to work together to explore initiatives to help their municipalities.

Mindie Burgoyne from the Maryland Department of Commerce has launched a new economic development group to be made up of officials from several Eastern Shore towns.

“My role is to coordinate regional economic development in the lower three counties,” she said.

To do that she’s invited representatives from Berlin, Ocean City, Salisbury, Snow Hill and Cambridge to join a group that will meet every other month to discuss economic development. Those municipalities were chosen, Burgoyne said, because each of them had a paid position tasked with targeting economic development.

“We’re going to be putting our heads together to figure out how to bring more jobs to these counties out here,” said Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic development director.

Burgoyne says the group will talk about everything from business retention to infrastructure. They’ll talk about marketing ideas and how to attract new businesses.

“When people come together and talk business, great ideas are born,” she said.

Michael Day, Snow Hill’s economic development consultant, said he was looking forward to the chance to interact with others in his field.

“I think for me it’s good networking,” he said.

Burgoyne said county economic development officials typically had more resources available to them than town officials. She wants to give those focused on municipal economic development a chance to share ideas and concerns with their peers.

“It’s just an effort to see if something will grow from that,” she said.

In the group’s first meeting, participants will discuss the challenges they face and the successes they’ve had in their respective municipalities.

“From that we hope to stimulate conversation,” she said. “They are talented people and they have different strengths so hopefully they can learn from each other.”

Day says he’s looking forward to networking with other professionals in the economic development field. He also believes regular meetings with Burgoyne will give him and his peers the chance to stay up to date with state level initiatives.

“It’ll keep me informed,” he said. “I know there are programs always changing.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.