By VICKI BROWN
At the recent Walterboro City Council meeting, City Manager Jeff Molinari requested funding from town council to invest in retail training with the Municipal Association of S.C. (MASC).
The training investment is $5,000. This cost includes a professional market analysis of the participating municipality, as well as the registration costs for one participant to attend the training event, which is being held in Las Vegas.
“All we are doing at this point is submitting an application,” said Molinari. “If accepted into the program, it will likely be one of our staff that attends and represents the city.
“A booth would be to advertise and promote the city of Walterboro as a great place to do business,” he added.
Council approved the funds request for the program if the city’s application is accepted.
“We have been a part of this program in years past,” said Mayor Bill Young. “It’s a good program, and could benefit our community.”
MASC represents and serves the state’s 271 incorporated municipalities, including the City of Walterboro.
The association offers services, programs and tools that will give municipal officials the knowledge and experience to enable the most efficient and effective operation of their communities.
To help cities and towns with retail strategies, MASC is hosting a Retail Recruitment Training course, led by The Retail Coach, a national market research and development firm.
The course will include six days of training, taking place at the Association’s office in Columbia from August to November.
According to MASC, training sessions will cover the principles of retail recruitment, such as market conditions in a defined area and current commercial development trends, as well as how retailers evaluate a market and search for growth opportunities.
In addition to the training sessions, participants will receive a professional market analysis profiling their community’s critical economic attributes.
Finally, participants will learn how to prepare for retail trade shows and network effectively when attending them. They will get a chance to put all the lessons into action when they attend the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Conference and RECon from December 5 – 7, a convention featuring retailers, commercial real estate firms and contractors held in Las Vegas.
The chosen Walterboro trainee will represent the city with a booth, providing retail information to interested retailers.