Grow! HC ‘vital to our county’

Helps local small businesses succeed

By Juliane Cartaino - For The Times-Gazette



Grow! Highland County, a locally based economic development program that Hillsboro Economic Development Coordinator Lauren Walker referred to as, “an integral local resource for new and existing small businesses,” has contributed $5 million in estimated sales to the local economy since its inception just over a decade ago, according to Tracy Evans, the organization’s facilitator.

According to its website, Grow! Highland County’s contributions to assist entrepreneurship and small business growth throughout Highland County are provided by community members with relevant expertise, who share their time free of charge for the benefit of their entrepreneurial clientele.

Toward this end, Evans said that Grow! Highland County, “has met with a total of 280 clients, created 164 jobs, retained 118 jobs, and have contributed $5 million in sales to our local economy.”

The organization’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by others.

Walker said that whether you are in the beginning phases of planning a business or an existing business seeking additional guidance, Grow! Highland County and the services provided are, “essential and valuable resources for all of Highland County.”

Walker described additional, “free services” provided by the organization, which she said include, “business plan development, business registration through the secretary of state and determining legal structures of businesses, obtaining tax ID, assisting with registering other agencies, obtaining business licenses, website creation, and researching questions you may have regarding business start up.”

Walker said that, “The city of Hillsboro Economic Development Department supports Grow! Highland County.” She described their interorganizational alliance as a partnership that, “allows us to work together” to make sure that, “the clients are receiving knowledge of all the resources offered locally.” She said Grow! Highland County, is, “vital to growth in our county.”

Evans described the process by which clients are assisted. “I help each client with their business idea until the doors of their business are open,” she said. “If there is information or services my clients need that I can not provide, I will make sure I get the answers and help they need.” She reiterated that, “Every service that Grow! Highland County provides is free and confidential.”

For more information about Grow! Highland County access its website at or its Facebook page at

Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.

Helps local small businesses succeed

By Juliane Cartaino

For The Times-Gazette