Economic development gets new site

Published 8:45 pm Saturday, January 3, 2015

The city’s Department of Economic Development recently launched a redesigned website designed to provide easier access to the things existing and prospective businesses need, director Kevin Hughes said.

“We were in need of an update,” Hughes said. “The approach really was twofold.”

Hughes said one facet of the redesign aims to appeal to small businesses. Things like demographic information, traffic counts, contacts and resources all are accessible within a click of the home page.

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The second facet was to provide information better for people doing site searches for retail, industrial or office space, Hughes said.

“A lot of times, the research that’s performed is via website and not by reaching out to me,” Hughes said of companies doing site searches. “We need to put our best foot forward.”

The site — located at — also offers maps of the region, a list of major employers, a searchable database of available properties, incentives for locating in Suffolk, testimonials from business owners and information on the Love Local Buy Suffolk initiative.

“The main driving force was a clean look and a lot of good visuals,” Hughes said, noting that putting information up front was critical. “If they don’t see it in the first couple of seconds, they’re not going to look for it.”

Also available on the site are press releases related to economic development, a link to the city’s main website, a link to the city’s tourism website to provide a glimpse of what it’s like to live in Suffolk, contact information for the economic development team and more.

Another important aspect of the redesign was ensuring the website is easily accessible, no matter what device — whether computer, tablet or smartphone — the viewer is using.

“We wanted to make sure we were keeping up with all devices people might be using,” Hughes said.