City Looking for a Few Good Entrepreneurs

Ariel Van Cleave

     The City of Homer wants to see more internet-based businesses in town, but officials want to make sure they’re making the area attractive enough. That’s where you come in.

     The city’s Economic Development Commission created a survey. The group is hoping to find out what is working in the city’s favor and where the deficiencies are when it comes to owning and running a business.

     “Maybe you run a bookkeeping company online,” Community and Economic Development Coordinator Katie Koester said. “Maybe you’re an online professor. Maybe you develop gaming, but you live here in Homer. And you do that in Homer. So what are the reasons?”

     She said she thinks quality of life is often a number one reason people have moved their businesses to Homer in the first place. 

     “As it’s probably attracted many of us, but we really want to know what those particulars are. And what the needs are of that demographic,” she said. 

     And Koester said the more detail, the better. The survey asks things like where exactly are you based? Where’s your target market? How many years have you been running your business? And is there anything the city could do to help you out? 

     “Because that’s where the commission can advise council and the city can actually have an impact in growing this sector.”

     Koester said the commission isn’t hoping to create the next Silicon Valley, but Homer already has several internet-based businesses because for some, it’s a way to make ends meet. Also, Koester mentioned the city must be doing something right at this point because Homer was named a Google E-City for last year.

     And she said looking forward growth in this field will be a benefit for the town in general.

     “This is an industry where it’s not very resource intensive. (It) brings new dollars into our economy, brings great neighbors. It’s really something worth fostering and developing, and just advertising that Homer’s a great place for that,” Koester said.

     The city is taking responses to the survey until April 1. You’ll find it on the Economic Development page on the city’s website.