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Goffstown business panel to do self-assessment

GOFFSTOWN — The Economic Development Council agreed Wednesday to take part in a survey designed to assess the town’s business climate.

Economic Development Coordinator Derek Horne said the survey, created by Northeastern University in Boston, covers topics ranging from infrastructure costs to aesthetics to opportunities for retail space.

Once board members complete the survey, it will be submitted to the university for analysis, with the results to be debated before the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board.

“This can be an important first step in developing our strategy,” Horne said. “The focus is on the items we can change because we know Goffstown isn’t going to change its geography.”

Town officials agreed they’d like to see the survey process completed sometime this fall.

A recent workshop on site regulations resulted in plans for a separate public meeting, set to take place Sept. 3.

Chairman Stephen Langley said that meeting would serve as the opportunity for the two boards to work together. The result would be an eight-page addition to the town’s development guidelines.

“There’s a line in the sand and we have to decide where that’s going to be,” Horne said. “Other communities are doing things like tax incentives to bring in business.”

The board also discussed scheduling a meeting with some local commercial Realtors about filling vacancies around town.

Another goal would be to form a local Chamber of Commerce. The town is now affiliated with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

At last month’s regular meeting, selectmen appointed two new members to serve on the Economic Development Council: regular member Cheryl Anderson and alternate member Catherine Whooten.

The council will meet again in August.

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