Jon Morgan is the Chairman of Brentwood’s Economic Development Committee in Brentwood, NH.
Earlier this spring, REDC talked with Brentwood Selectman Jon Morgan, who sits as the chairman of Brentwood’s Economic Development Committee (EDC). We talked with him about the importance of an EDC in developing the local economy.
REDC: Why did Brentwood decide to create an economic development committee?
Jon: I think with Brentwood in particular, we recognized that we had so many incredible opportunities for targeted development, particularly along State Route 125. There are site plans that are already reviewed and approved and shovel-ready. There's a lot of enthusiasm and excitement around development here in town, particularly around State Route 125. So, we wanted to harness that enthusiasm and focus the efforts on specific projects, getting those specific projects to completion.
REDC: What steps did Brentwood take to form their EDC?
Jon: The steps Brentwood took to form our EDC were done in cooperation with local professionals who knew economic development in this region. We identified professionals in specific areas like real estate, legal, data analysis, and folks who had a business background. We worked to get volunteers from the town and were incredibly successful. The members of the committee are appointed by the Select Board. [The EDC meets] twice a month to advance targeted efforts. The EDC in Brentwood is a subcommittee of the Planning Board, and as the chairperson of the Economic Development Committee, I bring those reports both to the Planning Board as well as to the Select Board.
REDC: In your opinion, why is it important for local communities to have their own EDC?
Jon: I think that it's incredibly important for local communities to have their own economic development committees because it’s the local communities that know the challenges they are facing, particularly in terms of development. They know what the opportunities are. They also have the opportunity to work very closely with a broad cross section of stakeholders that are locally invested in the success of these programs. [In Brentwood,] we're able to develop a vision that is right for our town and execute those visions of how economic development will happen here in Brentwood.
REDC: Why is this work important to you?
Jon: I'm one of those stakeholders. I have one of those many visions of what is possible in Brentwood, and I love this community very much. I'm raising my family here, and my wife and I built our dream home here. We know how wonderful this the community is.
We celebrate the rural character along with the rest of the town, and that's one of the most important aspects of this town. Changes are going to happen, and we want to help bring that change into Brentwood with a plan, so it will be sustainable. We want to have a vision for what that change is going to look like so that we can help direct the change that supports the values and the community that we all celebrate so much here in Brentwood.
REDC's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
This interview took place in March 2023 for the purpose of documenting first-hand perspectives on issues that present the largest obstacles to continued economic growth in our region. REDC's 2023 CEDS Update will be available for free electronically on our CEDS page in late June, 2023.
Part of this interview will be available to watch in a video on REDC's YouTube channel in late June, 2023.