NOLANVILLE — Nada Brackmann, 49, joined Nolanville’s Economic Development Corporation Board thinking that attracting businesses would be as simple as having a quick conversation with a representative. The longer the EDC has has been around, however, the more members are discovering bringing businesses to the area requires more than a simple phone call, she said.
“You have to take a more analytical approach to economic development, and you have to do it in stages,” Brackmann said, explaining that the EDC is definitely still in its infancy.
A Nolanville resident for 5½ years now, both she and her husband moved straight to the city from New Jersey after Fort Monmouth closed. Brackmann is both a long-time IT project manager with Symbolic Systems Inc. and co-owner of DoGoodDesigns, a Nolanville small business that specializes in making custom-order personalized and promotional products, which she runs with her husband, David.
Brackmann said her work experience helped her research more about the EDC process.
“I thought it’d be something we could just jump right in, but there’s definitely a process in planning and determining what businesses would come to Nolanville and if we need to offer certain incentives,” she said.
Brackmann said firms are formed around that exact question: What businesses would come to my city? Known as retail recruitment companies, the hired firms do intensive analytical data analysis to determine what an area could offer a business and what environment a business needs to be successful.
Minute details such as traffic volume, street access and location of traffic lights are all compiled to determine if for instance, a convenient store would be profitable in the area, she said.
Much of the EDC’s job will be determining what Nolanville already has and if there are any sort of incentives the city could offer businesses to bridge the gap and get them here, she said. It’s the committee’s duty to do that as well and present a positive image of Nolanville to prospective businesses.
“I think we are creating a foundation certainly with (Stephen) Pearl as the city manager and having a positive change in city government. There’s more of a push now to prepare Nolanville for future that lies ahead,” she said, comparing it to the way the city has operated in the past.
Brackmann said she is definitely a fan of local businesses, but she feasibly thinks those businesses could not exist in the area without some more well-known chain-like operations. Realistically, she said, Nolanville’s future probably contains a mix of both.