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Editorial: A good chance to grow business

Every few years the city of Farmington starts to talk about economic development, and every time they do, we have pretty much the same reaction: It sounds great, if anything ever comes of it.

Past efforts have led to a few promising things here and there, but for the most part things have felt more disorganized than destined for success.

On the front page of this week's Independent we launched a monthlong series that will take a closer look at the city's latest push for economic development. We are optimistic it will be different than the ones that have come before.

There are a few reasons for that optimism, and chief among them is the fact that this latest effort isn't starting from scratch. In recent years the city has put some work into building what has become known as the Grow Farmington movement. Farmington business owners have organized the Farmington Business Association and started holding events like December's Dazzle Day. There is a good working relationship there, and that group can provide support that wasn't there before.

It's also encouraging that the city is getting involved in the Open for Business project. We'll talk more about that next week as our series continues, but basically it's an outside consultant who will be available to provide guidance and support for business owners and would-be entrepreneurs.

Also new this year is a change to the makeup of the city's economic development authority. Now, instead of being made up of city council members who might at times view EDA duties as an unwanted extra commitment, the city has a group that is presumably committed to doing something to help make business growth happen.

None of this is a recipe for immediate success. As much as the city can do to help things along, a still-recovering economy provides a significant obstacle.

Still, we're encouraged by what we've seen. We hope something comes of it.