One of the best sources of information and assistance for startup and expanding business is state, region and local economic development agencies. At this writing, there are nearly 12, 000 economic development groups in the United States that charge nothing for their services and assistance.
They are public, private or most often a public/private partnership, and their purpose is to promote economic growth and development in the areas they serve. They accomplish that by encouraging new businesses to locate in their area, and to do that, they've gathered all the statistics and information you'll need to make a decision.
Economic development agencies will help any business, regardless of size, in four primary ways:
- Market demographics
- Real estate costs and availability; zoning a d regulatory issues
- Workforce demographics
- Referrals to similar companies and other resources
For the best overview, start with your state's economic development agency. They can then guide you to regional and local groups for more detailed and expanded information.