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Branford Targeted Industry Study

Description:
The town of Branford was seeking to better understand the industries that are growing in the region and how the town could benefit from that growth. Branford enlisted CERC to develop an economic plan that would allow the town to execute strategies that would result in a positive economic difference.

CERC’s research team developed a targeted industry study that analyzed the industry drivers of the local economy. The study looked at various historical growth tends for every industry in the town and region, examining which industries could thrive in the area and which locations are best suited for various types of development.

Issues:
The town of Branford wanted to formulate an economic action plan to better make use of the available, undeveloped land. The town wanted to examine how to best develop the land so that it reaps the greatest benefits for the economy and quality of life of the town. Much of the area is taken up by the retail industry. The town wanted to analyze the retail opportunity of the area and use the available land in the most effective way.

Deliverables:
CERC constructed a report that analyzed the growth of the region’s key industries as well as a competitive assessment of these industries. The analysis included a business profile, targeted industry study, retail and consumer expenditure analyses, and focus groups with business owners and chamber members. The business profile answered questions about the town’s economic base industries and the study included focus groups that allowed CERC to analyze the retail opportunity in the region.
 
The purpose of the targeted industry study was to examine a list of industries and evaluate how they would best advance the town’s economic goals. The retail analysis looked at the industry contribution to the economy and compared retail sales and demand in the area. By implementing new industries in the undeveloped land CERC considered the town’s plan of conservation and development. The plan includes strategies intended to promote Smart Growth, which utilizes land use practices and creates sustainable environments for living, working and effective transportation.

Outcomes:
Through this targeted industry analysis CERC found that Branford has different parcels of land for various economically effective uses. The downtown area also has as the opportunity to serve as a regional retail center for the shoreline and surrounding communities.

The report was presented to the Economic Development Commission (EDC) – they will use the information when considering applications for proposed developments and zoning changes.