COPPERAS COVE — Representatives from Foote Consulting Group LLC, a site selection firm from Phoenix, introduced themselves to the Economic Development Corporation board Thursday.
Deane C. Foote, president and CEO of the consulting group, and Paige Webster, site selection consultant, explained how they were learning about business opportunities in Copperas Cove.
“We are going to be working with the EDC on lead generation,” Foote said. “We will introduce you to other site selectors ... (who) represent a number of companies.”
The ultimate objective of reaching out to prospects, Foote said, is to encourage them to physically visit a location.
Webster explained that it can take up to six weeks and hundreds of phone calls to land just 12 appointments with companies.
“We’re their opener. We open the doors,” he said. “They’re the ones that need to close it.”
Monica Hull, director of business development at the EDC, also presented information regarding industries that had shown interest in the city over the last year and reasons some had chosen to locate elsewhere.
As of November, 80 percent of prospects that had looked at Copperas Cove were from manufacturing industries, according to the economic development report.
Of businesses that chose not to establish in the city, 35 percent noted a lack of available space as their reason.
“The majority are saying they want an existing building,” Hull said. “Big buildings.”
Foote commended the EDC on its developing Narrows Business Park, because improved, “shovel-ready” properties are in high demand with site selectors, but noted a lack of railway access could be a weakness.
“For certain industries, if you don’t have rail, you won’t be looked at,” he said. “There’s no community that can match everything a company needs, though.”
The goal, Foote said, is to provide as many amenities companies look for, such as workforce and good quality of life elements, like cost of living and strong school systems, to outlast other communities competing for the same business.