An integral part of Marshall County Economic Development Corporation’s mission is the work of retaining the current businesses in Marshall County. Part of helping to strengthen the Marshall County economy is talking to and listening to local businesses.

The Business Expansion And Retention (BEAR) program that MCEDC utilizes is a formal industry standard questionnaire to understand the business climate in Marshall County. This process is a cooperative effort between industry leaders, local public officials and MCEDC. These confidential one on one interviews present an opportunity for insight into how improvements can impact local industry.

A core component of the work of MCEDC is assisting existing businesses stay and grows in Marshall County. The BEAR program is established as an important tool that alerts MCEDC and our partners to what issues current business maybe facing. The program helps us monitor and assess the needs of local companies. It also provides an update on the local economy.

While the particular plans and work of individual companies is held in strict confidence, information gathered on the overall economic condition and any general issues can be helpful for elected officials to hear firsthand from employers. Issues such as workforce readiness and possible solutions have been gleaned through the ongoing BEAR interview process.


Information gathered through the BEAR process can also answer questions of why current employers are located here, what advantages or disadvantages they experience. This can help in the attraction of new employers or identify what types of industry are a good fit for the county.

The process can also help in understanding why employees may or may not be locating into Marshall County. What amenities are employers being asked about as they recruit team members. As work continues towards improving the quality of life in Marshall County, keeping in touch with what aspects of this work is paying dividends is important.