Mid-Island entrepreneurs looking to start a business or experiencing challenges growing their business were not finding the support and information they needed. In 2007, a steering committee of regional businesses and organizations developed a grassroots business retention and expansion program for the mid-Island area, called Business Assistance for Successful Enterprise. The community-driven program was designed to offer free business coaching to support economic development, business retention and expansion services to businesses in the Oceanside area.
The project helped to develop a program and fund a professional business advisor, backed by a team of 20 volunteer mentors with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. This team provided support for business planning, market development, entrepreneurial skills, development of technologies, succession planning, Human Resource strategies, health and safety, finance sourcing and identifying markets for products and services.
The project helped to increase the level of economic self-reliance, create new jobs, improve the business climate and leverage new investment in the region. Since that time, the region’s business community, local governments and other organizations involved in economic development have evolved and joined forces to create “Oceanside Initiatives”, a regional alliance that develops and implements economic and business development initiatives.