Local Economist: New Young Business Firms Key to Economic Growth - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Economist: New Young Business Firms Key to Economic Growth

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Perdue tower at the company's complex on Zion Church Road. (Photo: WBOC) Perdue tower at the company's complex on Zion Church Road. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - Perdue's decision to move their Argibusiness corporate offices to Delaware has been planned for years.  And while the move is not a surprise for Wicomico County, it still unfavorable news for the local economy.

What was a surprise was the announcement that Labinal would be shutting down its Salisbury plant and moving operations to Texas by the end of 2016.  That announcement came at the beginning of this year and impacts over 600 employees at the Salisbury location.

Coupled that with Lorch Microwave laying off about 10 percent of it's workforce in Salisbury, it's been a few months of tough news for Wicomico County.  However, Dr. Memo Diriker of BEACON at Salisbury University believes Wicomico County is going to be just fine because of a shift away from relying on just big businesses.

"We are going have to change our approach towards catering to these younger firms to get these five jobs, 10 jobs, 12 jobs, 15 jobs rather than the big hundred jobs at a time," Diriker said.

Wicomico County has touted it is open for business and Diriker believes the new, young businesses are what the county needs to focus on attracting to the area.  Diriker added the focus on the new firms and businesses and away is a trend happening nationwide and the key for Wicomico County is making sure local people are equipped to work in these new businesses.

"In addition to economic development, we're going to have to rethink some of our workforce development activities. We're going to have to find ways of retraining and re-tooling these individuals to be more useful to these younger, more agile companies," said Diriker.

WBOC reached out to David Ryan, the Director of the Salisbury-Wicomico Economic Development, for comment on Wicomico County's economy and attracting new businesses but we have yet to hear back.

Perdue announced Friday that the company has purchased the land in Delmar to build the new Agribusiness corporate offices.  Perdue officials say the old building at the current complex on Zion Church Road will continue to be used as offices for staff that remains in Salisbury.

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