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New Falmouth Web site gets down to business

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New Falmouth Web site gets down to business

FALMOUTH — It's a long name, but the town is hoping the new Falmouth Business and Economic Development Resource Information Web site will make short work for businesses and developers trying to find a place to locate.

For the past six months, Theo Holtwijk, who is Falmouth's director of long range planning, and several others have been developing the site, which is accessed from the business tab on the town's home page.

Holtwijk said he worked on the content with Town Manager Nathan Poore.  Assistant Town Manager Amy Lamontagne proofed the copy and Councilor Will Armitage reviewed the content and suggested additional Web resources.

The Town Council, Falmouth Cumberland Chamber of Commerce and the Falmouth Economic Development Commission were all supplied with the material to review before Mike McDade put the site on-line, Holtwijk said.

"We didn't want to pretend we had our finger on the pulse," he said.

The six sections include site location information with a database of available commercial properties; permitting information and assistance; financial information; an overview of Falmouth; descriptions of current developments and plans for future projects, and a list of links to other business resources.

"I think it's helpful to have a single place where people who have an interest in locating or expanding their business in Falmouth can go and find the critical information they need to conduct their business," Holtwijk said. "There are a number of points where we interact – permits, taxes ... then we thought it would be helpful to assist people in site location, to assemble the locations, not take the place of Realtors."

Before compiling the database of available properties, Holtwijk said they consulted real estate agents about which fields it would be important to include. They also studied the content of similar Web sites from other communities in the area.

Poore said he is pleased by the finished product and called it a
"great effort from a number of people, very well done (and)
comprehensive."

For now, the town is marketing the site to those on its subscriber list, the chamber and the EDC, as well as to the business community and Realtors who have commercial property listed in Falmouth, he said. Future marketing efforts could include the Metro Coalition, which is a greater Portland community effort to attract businesses to the area. 

"It's up to the Town Council as to what next steps it may choose to take in terms of how far to reach out," Poore said.

So far, the response from from brokers has been positive, Holtwijk said.

But, like any useful Web site, he said the town must continue to maintain and update the site.

"It should not be looked at as a static product," he said. "It's clear that it's an essential communication tool; we're still trying to see what fits."

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.