Mar 27, 2017

County business development officials seek to identify—and help—local economic base businesses

The Sandoval County Office of Business Development wants to identify all of the economic base businesses within the county—and you might be able to help.

An economic base business derives at least 51% of its income from customers outside of New Mexico’s borders. Such businesses are important to the local economy because that out-of-state income represents new dollars that are likely to be spent in our state, and ultimately spur other businesses to grow.

The county’s efforts at supporting E-base businesses is focused on small business owners, many whom are solo workers. This segment of the business community includes consultants, writers, artists, digital animators, financial advisors, accountants and those offering design services, medical transcription, and IT services.

“We are here to support all of our businesses,” said Dianne Maes, the county’s director of business development. “For this project we are particularly interested in our E-base business sector. If there is interest, we want to develop resources to engage these solo workers and hopefully identify what efforts or resources would be helpful for them to grow their business.”

Once all of the E-base businesses have been identified, Maes and her staff will develop programs to help them continue to grow and prosper. The programs will be based on feedback from the business owners, but they could range from basic networking sessions where business people can exchange ideas to formal training workshops on specific topics.

The business development department has engaged the services of Wendy Ederer of Albuquerque-based Cornerstone Consulting, LLC to spearhead the project. She is being assisted by Yesenia Renteria, a UNM West student-intern in the office of business development.

To date, they have merged lists of business licenses from all of the incorporated communities within the county—from Cuba to Rio Rancho. The merged list shows more than 5,300 businesses registered throughout the county. However, based on the data collected from businesses during the registration process, only 40 of those business could clearly be identified as E-base businesses.

Finding hidden gems
“There are another 1,175 that we think could be E-base businesses, but we’re not sure because we simply don’t have enough information,” Ederer said. To avoid that problem in the future, the business development office will ask local government entities to revise their business registration forms to include information that would make it easy to identify E-base businesses.

“The county clerk already has graciously come on board with this concept as she realizes the importance of capturing this data for economic development,” Maes said.

In the meantime, Ederer and Renteria will be reaching out to all of the businesses on their list by telephone to ask the simple question: Are you and E-base business? If the business owner is willing, they also will ask if there are any specific programs or services they would find useful.

“We view this as a supplement to the business retention and expansion program that the Sandoval Economic Alliance has,” Ederer said, in reference to the local economic development organization that was launched a couple of years ago through the cooperation of public and private entities within the county. “They visit the obvious E-base businesses like manufacturers. We are looking to supplement that effort by finding the businesses that don’t have a high profile, such as individuals who work out of their homes.”

So far, Ederer said, home-based consultants appear to be the biggest sector of hidden E-base businesses in the county. “These folks get very little personal outreach from people who are not trying to sell them something,” she added. “We want to let them know we are here to help them.”

The outreach portion of this project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. Any businessperson willing to aid the effort can contact the county’s office of business development to report whether they operate an E-base business. Here is the department’s contact info.

Sandoval County Office of Business Development
264 S. Camino del Pueblo
Bernalillo, NM 87004