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Frequently Asked Questions

What is BusinessFirst! for a Greater Dayton Region?

BusinessFirst! is a successful business assistance program. It uses face-to-face interviews with top leaders of existing businesses to gather feedback on doing business in the Dayton region. This feedback helps our program partners connect businesses with the resources they need to stay and grow in the region and build an even better business climate. The BusinessFirst! initiative is a regional effort led by economic development offices throughout Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and northern Warren counties.

What are the goals of the program?

The partners want to 1) thank area businesses for their contribution and commitment to the regional economy, 2) give businesses the opportunity to share their opinions about doing business in the region, 3) work better to understand the factors critical to business success and 4) connect businesses with the resources they need to be successful. For example, our partners can provide assistance with facility or product expansion efforts, address financing concerns or help troubleshoot workforce issues. Finally, we take all the information gathered from businesses, in aggregate form, and use it to help look for ways to improve the business climate in the Dayton region.

What will I have to do as a participant?

Click here to submit a “Get Started” form. Participants will be contacted by a BusinessFirst! representative from the economic development office in your community to schedule a time for a face-to-face conversation  to understand your current or future business needs. The meeting typically lasts 30 minutes.

How will the company information be used by the BusinessFirst! program?

The information obtained during the meeting will be used to direct resources and assistance to your business as needed. For example, if you would like to learn more about export opportunities to new markets, we could refer you to a BusinessFirst! Resource Partner with the appropriate expertise. While there is no charge for your initial visit, fees may or may not be charged by Resource Partners for select services.

How do you identify the companies you want to meet?

Each economic development office develops their own target list, a sample of area businesses, as each community is different and has a slightly different mix of industries. Companies may request, and are encouraged, to participate by visiting the BusinessFirst! website (link to the homepage.)

Who are the Outreach Professionals who meet with businesses?

The Outreach Professionals are economic development professionals, current or former business people who understand the importance of a thriving business community to the health of the economy of the greater Dayton region. More than 100 trained staff support this effort and work with our partners across the region.

What has the program accomplished? Why is it important?

Since February 2001 when the BusinessFirst! program launched, we have interviewed more than 6,000 area businesses representing more than 100,000 jobs in our community. Participating businesses have received assistance in areas such as international trade, business planning and strategy development, financing and workforce development. We know that when your business thrives, the region thrives, and we want to do whatever we can to assist you with the achievement of your goals.

How can I find out more about participating in the BusinessFirst! program? 

For information on how to participate as a company, sign up here  to schedule an interview.