Primary Purpose: Provide proactive outreach to Highland Park’s existing business community as well as targeted outreach to new businesses, commercial property owners, and stakeholders; utilizing strategies to attract, retain and grow economic development and investment in the community. Build and maintain relationships through business visits, attendance at applicable local and regional industry meetings, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings with partners in economic development and decision makers. Perform administrative functions as applicable such as purchase orders, license renewals and permits, and staff support to the Business & Economic Development Advisory Group. Work with the Business Development Manager and fellow City staff across all departments to implement activities, policies, and procedures related to the City’s Business Development Strategic Plan. Respond to resident and business inquiries regarding economic development activities and opportunities. Work with the Marketing Coordinator in relation to the marketing, planning, and coordination of City sponsored events such as Food Truck Thursdays and The Lot series of Events.
Supervision Received: The Business Development Specialist reports to the Business Development Manager.
Administer, prepare, and process the Business registration Program, Outdoor Temporary Use Permit Program, and Vacant Ground Floor Storefront Window Display Program. Administer the annual Beautification Awards and Business Recognition Award Program. Administer Façade Grant and Adopt-a-Planter programs.
Conduct stakeholder outreach; serving as a personal guide to those doing business in the community. Build relationships with partners in economic development: brokers, developers, property owners, new and existing businesses, local and regional stakeholders. Contribute to the development of the City’s business development strategic plan and implement activities, policies and procedures related to said plan.
Maintain economic development content, including databases for available space, business openings and closings, and economic development-related web pages.
Prepare and coordinate City communications directed to the business community via mass email, the Bi-Weekly Economic Development Newsletter, digital kiosks, and social networking.
Research and propose opportunities to apply "Best Practices" in economic development to benefit the local economy including development of new incentive programs, placemaking strategies, and promotion of local businesses.
Provide general administrative assistance in the Business Development Division; process purchase requisitions and invoicing as well as answering telephone calls and emails, working with business owners, property owners, commercial real estate professionals, residents, and new business prospects as needed.
Assist with the preparation of Business & Economic Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) meetings (agendas, minutes, packets) and Business Development related events, including but not limited to the Mayor’s Breakfast.
Required Minimum Qualifications: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education: Education or experience equivalent to an associate’sdegree in business, marketing, public relations, or related field required; bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred.
Experience: Two years professional experience in local government, business, marketing or related field strongly preferred, or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
Certification or License: A valid Illinois driver’s license or equivalent is required.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Proficiencies: This position requires excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills as well as: the ability to effectively present ideas both orally and in writing, the ability to produce reports of a varying nature on a timely basis, skills in the operation of a computer and design software. Enthusiasm and the willingness to learn with an outgoing personality and the ability to establish and maintain an effective working relationships. Knowledge of effective principles, practices, and techniques of economic development; knowledge of business concerns, needs, practices, markets, relocation needs and initiatives. Skill in exercising good judgment, maintaining confidentiality, and making responsible decisions in accordance with established policies and procedures.