The Mount Pleasant Economic Development Corporation (MPEDC) board on Oct. 3 approved extending its contract with a professional consulting firm that assists in marketing the city to prospective retail businesses.

The firm, The Retail Coach, describes itself on its website as “the first name in retail recruitment,” offering “a fully customized system of products and services that better enable communities to maximize their retail development potential.” This includes market research and consulting.

The city has been under contract with the firm for a year already, with the current term expiring this month. Last week’s vote extended the arrangement for an additional 12 months, at a cost of $25,000.

“This will maintain continuity in our retail study and allow The Retail Coach to continue to work on projects in our area,” MPEDC staff wrote in materials prepared for the board prior to last week’s meeting.

The market research the firm provides the city is available to existing businesses as well, board members said. Over the period the city has been working with The Retail Coach, the firm’s services have evolved beyond such research, to also include making contact with potential retail businesses.

Some of the businesses the firm has worked with in the past include Petsense, Schlotzky’s and Dairy Queen, MPEDC Executive Director Charles Smith said.

Those companies now do business in Mount Pleasant.

In other business last week, the board:

-Approved forwarding to the Mount Pleasant City Council a tax abatement application from Priefert Manufacturing/PMCI Properties. All such applications must be approved by the council.

-Approved authorizing Smith to sign an Educational Cooperative Agreement. A cooperative agreement between the MPEDC, Mount Pleasant Independent School District and Northeast Texas Community College has been in existence for five years. Following staffing changes at some of the entities involved, this was considered a good time to renew the partnership’s shared goals and objectives.

Mount Pleasant Tribune