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The Perry County Economic Development Authority is kicking off two constituent research projects in the county.

The organization is asking Perry County residents to participate because feedback will be critical in positioning the economic development strategy for years to come, according to the authority.

The first project is targeted toward residents, both current and former. Residents are asked to complete a short survey about their thoughts and experiences of Perry County. The survey should take fewer than 10 minutes to complete and will be available through the organization’s website (www.perrycountyeda.com) and the Perry County Economic Development Facebook page.

The survey results will be used to formulate a strategic plan for economic development in the county, according to the authority.

The project already involved roundtable discussions with farmers, business owners, elected officials, community leaders, civic organizations and tourism-related organizations, which took place over two days in late February. Those discussions focused on the perceptions and misconceptions about the county and the need for economic development, according to the authority.

The second project is a business retention and expansion survey, which will kick off in early April. The project targets about 100 county businesses to solicit their desires, needs, concerns and future plans, in the hope of better understanding what the authority can do immediately and in the coming years, the authority said.

“As a board, we spend a lot of time looking at the bigger picture, and we think we understand,” said Marti Roberts, board chair of the authority. “The results of this research, coupled with Penn State Extension’s recently published economic assessment of our county, will help validate our concerns and reveal a clear direction for our goal of strengthening Perry’s economy.”

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