The Stadtmarketing- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Dormagen (SWD) and the Helot company now jointly invited entrepreneurs to a breakfast in Hackenbroich. This is where the headquarters of the traditional Cologne-based company are located at Kruppstrasse 21. The new administration building in cool industrial style was inaugurated and occupied in summer 2019. Even then, the plan was to introduce the company to the neighborhood as part of the SWD entrepreneurs' meeting. Then came the pandemic, now the plan has been put into action.
Helot Managing Director Marius Stoffels welcomed the 25 or so guests, tradespeople from Hackenbroich, Mayor Erik Lierenfeld, SWD Managing Director Michael Bison and staff from the Economic Development Department, to the large community room with kitchenette. "We are very happy here at the location and still feel very welcome," Stoffels emphasized. In addition to the suitable property, the uncomplicated bureaucratic support from the city administration was another factor in favor of the move from Cologne to Dormagen at the time. This is a real location factor, according to Lierenfeld: "We are proud of the fact that companies generally only have to wait a few weeks for approval. The Helot example shows that such factors can be decisive for companies when it comes to the attractiveness of a business location."
Halls and workshops on the site indicate that Hackenbroich is home to the company's headquarters as well as its Cologne-Düsseldorf branch - one of four throughout Germany. Helot's business model is to provide mobile heating and air-conditioning systems for a wide range of occasions, from high-profile political events such as the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in June this year, the major equestrian event CHIO in Aachen, to supplying entire cities from lightweight halls currently being erected in Berlin for Ukrainian war refugees. The logistics and maintenance work behind around 800 projects and 8,000 rentals a year became clear during the tour of the company.
Exchange and impetus are what the SWD Entrepreneurs' Breakfast is all about. It takes place in turn in four Dormagen business parks and is always well attended. "We use the format to present our services as an economic development agency, but even more so to hear in casual conversation what topics and issues are driving the local economy," explains Michael Bison. One current pain point is the shortage of skilled workers, which the SWD is trying to counter with advice and networking at the transition from school to work. At SWD, Franziska Gräfe is responsible for formats such as the "Date your job" training fair and the online jobs portal www.jobkomm-dormagen.de. She promoted the use of both locally focused offerings at the entrepreneurs' breakfast.
André Heryschek, Head of Structural Change and Smart City at SWD, took aim at another pressing problem facing tradespeople in Hackenbroich. There is no fast Internet between Bergiusstrasse, Roggendorferstrasse, Kruppstrasse and Ottostrasse. To optimize coverage there, directional radio could be a solution. Options are currently being examined. "For companies that move larger amounts of data and don't want to wait for a fiber-optic connection, this would open up an alternative," says Heryschek.