I was recently on the phone with a company’s customer support department and had a conversation that went something like this: Me – Yes sir, I wanted product X but you sent me product Y. Would you please send me product X and refund me for product Y? Representative from Company: XYZ – No sir, you will need to call our product support department during business hours. Our department doesn’t do that. Me – Ok, can I get my refund? Representative from Company XYZ – No sir, I am not authorized to do that until you talk with product support.
Say what? Some might call this the “runaround.” It’s probably just a case of Company XYZ operating an archaic business model that hasn’t shifted to a truly customer-focused brand of business.
During these last few years, Lake County government has made strides to become a true customer-focused agency that operates with business-like principles. One big change was made recently to reach this goal. This past March, Lake County’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism was combined with the Growth Management Department. Robert Chandler took leadership of the newly created department called “Economic Growth.”
Lake County joins the City of Orlando as one of the few in Central Florida to make this move. The Department of Economic Growth aims to help local business grow and attract companies for relocation.
The problems we face for economic prosperity in Lake County are daunting. But I hope that conversations like the one I had with Company XYZ, will never prevent our county from winning a company’s relocation or a local business from expanding.
Economic Development and Growth Management should work together and not in separate silos, or even different locations within the county administration building. Many business expansions require building permits, planning, and zoning permits. As we continue to draw interest for corporate relocations, we need a unified team approach to meet the needs of corporations doing their due-diligence.
Expectations are high and competition for business is intense. The anticipated outcomes of this move are improved communication and a singular vision for customer service. The new Economic Growth Department will reduce the level of bureaucracy in Lake County government. Robert Chandler made it very clear that his team must be proactive and collaborative instead of hiding behind a desk and extra layers of management.
Lake County “Real Florida, Real Close” is home to a growing number of sports and tourism friendly events. The new Economic Growth Department will also streamline the process of permitting and supporting these events that are an integral part of our local economy.
Whether you are a local business, or one scouting sites for relocation, I encourage you to come and see what Lake County’s new Economic Growth Department is all about or visit www.businessinlakefl.com. It will be worth your time, and I believe our team will lead you through a more predictable process, providing you with information to assist you in making better business decisions.
Sean Parks, Lake County Commissioner