Badin enters contract with economic development company

Published 11:56 am Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Badin Town Council voted to contract with economic development company The Retail Coach following a closed session July 9.

The town has had long-term discussions about possibilities for boosting its economic development. Last summer, a representatives from The Retail Coach approached the council with a proposal, but the town did not vote to accept it.

During last Tuesday’s meeting, representative Charles Parker submitted a new, condensed proposal that officials say was better suited to the town’s budget.

Parker said The Retail Coach can perform analyses of Badin’s potential market to determine what businesses might perform best in the area, using cellphone data and demographic information to help paint a picture of the market.

The company will also perform a leakage analysis to see where new businesses could plug gaps, areas where potential customers conduct their business elsewhere.

The proposal is “highly specialized” to Badin’s needs and budget, Parker said. Typically, a contract is for 12 months, but this one was tailored to a six-month period.

In response to Councilman Ernest Peoples’ question about bringing customers in, Parker said he believes attracting business is possible, though it will be difficult with businesses in Albemarle in close proximity. One potential area for business development could be an empty lot by Dollar General.

Badin Mayor Anne Harwood expressed interest in seeing a kayak outfitter and a burger business open up.

Parker said The Retail Coach has been contracted by other towns in the area, including Mooresville and Thomasville, adding he is in the Charlotte area about once a month.

He promised to return and begin the project as soon as the town approved it.

At the end of the agenda, the council went into closed session to discuss personnel and economic development. Upon reconvening open session, the council voted to contract with The Retail Coach. The company will receive $10,000 for its work.

Other business

Town Manager Jay Almond asked the board to consider naming a portion of North Carolina Highway 740 “Lou Donaldson Boulevard.”

Known as “Sweet Poppa Lou,” alto saxophonist Donaldson was born in Badin in 1926. Among other achievements, Donaldson was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.

Almond asked the board to approve his request to talk with DOT about naming part of the road after Donaldson, who is now 92. The council approved his request.

Almond also presented two separate budget reports, one on the end of Fiscal Year 2018-19 and one on the beginning of FY 2019-20.

While there are a handful of outstanding bills from the last fiscal year, Almond said he does not anticipate any large bills. He noted that in FY 18-19, the alcohol tax netted about $2,500 more than anticipated. While the amount may not make much difference in a large town, Almond noted  it was an appreciated bonus in a town the size of Badin.

Almond said he plans to meet with Cube Hydro employees soon to discuss “opportunities” before Cube. Cube has announced plans to sell to sell the business to Ontario Power Generation, a Canadian company.

Almond also said he plans to attend a 10 Days of Uwharrie meeting at Lily’s Bridge Marina in Mount Gilead on July 23.

He told the council that the Badin Fire Department will have a community appreciation day on Aug. 17.

The Badin Town Council will have its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at Badin Town Hall.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.