Friday, April 18, 2014

Welcome To Cummins, U.S.A.

Joann Muller Forbes Staff

 The Indiana enginemaker believes deeply in the anachronistic idea that investing in its community is smart business. Could it be on to something? More here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What the Redskins marketing deal means for Loudoun County

Loudoun County's eight-year marketing deal with the Washington Redskins is paying off for the county, according to its economic development staff, though the "value" of a press backdrop or an on-air mention isn't likely to erase the angst surrounding the agreement.

Recent Washington Post reports suggest community frustration over Loudoun's decision to spend $500,000 a year in transient occupancy tax revenues to pay off the county's $2 million debt to the Redskins. According to a Loudoun staff report, transient occupancy taxes may be used to promote tourism, travel or "business that generates tourism of travel in the county." The economic development department contends that's exactly what the Redskins do.

The total estimated value of the marketing deal to the county between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, considered the 2013 season, was $1.4 million. For the 2012 season, the first year of the marketing deal,  the value was $1.13 million.

"The county expects to receive over $8 million in total value over the term of the contract; approximately four times the county’s investment," Buddy Rizer, the county's economic development chief, wrote in the report. More here.

‘It Matters Where You Make It’ drives new Toledo branding effort

Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor |

Matt Yarder’s family has been making sheet metal in Toledo for four generations. Doug Mallette moved to Toledo for college and decided to stay in Northwest Ohio. Jemma Hostetler has lived in big cities coast to coast but found a home in the Glass City. David Woodward lived in Atlanta for years before returning to his hometown to start a business.

No matter what your story, a local group working to brand and market the Toledo region wants you to connect with the region and make it your own.
Jeff Schaaf is Toledo Region brand manager. Toledo Free Press photo and cover photo by Christie Materni
Jeff Schaaf is Toledo Region brand manager. Toledo Free Press photo and cover photo by Christie Materni

The Toledo Region Branding Initiative is a nearly five-year, $800,000 project of the Northwest Ohio Brand Council — representatives from various public and private organizations that came together in 2009 with a common goal to promote the region, said Toledo Region Brand Manager Jeff Schaaf.
On April 4, the group unveiled a new tagline, “It Matters Where You Make It,” along with a new logo, the word “TOLEDO” with a small green arrow pointing forward. More here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

New Michigan auto adviser changing the conversation to attract new businesses

By Michael Wayland |

DETROIT, MI- The state’s new auto adviser is looking to change the way Michigan attracts automotive-related companies to the Great Lakes State.

Nigel Francis, Automotive Office Michigan Economic Development Corp. senior vice president, is taking a more business-like approach to discussions with companies rather than offering short-term benefits.

Francis used a discussion with a “very large company from overseas” to drive his point home, where instead of proposing incentives; officials touted how the company could save money in the long-term with having the right location for a new plant.

“If they put it in the wrong place, their logistics cost will become a billion dollars over the lifetime,” he told reporters Tuesday following a speech at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2014 World Congress.

“When you look at a billion dollar decision, does it really matter that there’s $5 million or $7 million upfront? It’s completely irrelevant. More here.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Goshen agrees to contribute $25,000 to kickstart city marketing campaign

GOSHEN — People outside of Goshen may start to hear a lot more about the city over the next year or so as a new marketing campaign shines the spotlight on the community — locally, regionally and even nationally.

The city council voted Tuesday night, April 1, to contribute $25,000 to a marketing venture that aims to highlight the Maple City as an “uncommonly great” place to live, work and visit. The campaign has also been pitched to the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, Goshen Community Schools and Goshen College. The city’s contribution will come from its Economic Development Income Tax, or EDIT, fund.

Heading up the campaign is Eyedart Creative Studio, a homegrown company that works in marketing, advertising, multimedia and communications. Eyedart partner Grace Bonewitz said the company was approached by the city, the chamber and local schools to explore the next steps in implementing a branding study the chamber organized in 2010.

The marketing campaign’s cornerstone is storytelling, Bonewitz told the city council. Eyedart will be tasked with creating 48 stories over the span of one year that highlight the community’s positive features. Text, photos and video will be compiled and posted on a website that would act as a hub for the four partners. Billboards, T-shirts, and advertising on the radio, in newspapers and in magazines will also be key parts of the campaign, she said.

Chamber president David Daugherty urged the council to support the project. Bonewitz added that the campaign has been well received by Goshen College and Goshen Community Schools.

If all four partners come on board, Eyedart plans to launch the campaign this summer.

REDI Cincinnati head plans ‘guerrilla marketing’ to bring companies to the regioN

REDI Cincinnati, the region’s new, main economic development agency on Thursday appointed Johnna Reeder, a Duke Energy vice president whose role included economic development, as its CEO.

Reeder started out working at a chamber of commerce in Tennessee before moving to Cincinnati and starting over at the United Way, Citi and Kroger in government relations, public affairs and foundation management roles. She answered a few Business Courier questions in an interview Friday morning.

1. Why’d you want this job?
I’ve worked in economic development for Duke Energy for close to six years now. I want to make this my full-time job. I’m very passionate about the region, about how we grow jobs and businesses, about how we take care of our existing business and industry and how we go out and what I would call guerrilla marketing to national and international business possibilities. I want to lead that effort with a very strong team and great group of investors and supporters. More here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Rural counties band together to market region

Group formed after state marketing efforts were slashed
By Nicholas Elmes

Seven rural counties in the Piedmont Triad region will soon have new voice when seeking economic development prospects — themselves.

Stokes, Surry, Yadkin, Davie, Davidson, Rockingham, and Randolph counties are joining forces to form a new economic development marketing group which hopes to have a budget of $75,000 to attract new industry to rural communities. The formation of the group is a result of recent changes to state development initiatives which has eliminated funding for rural markets, according to Stokes County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Alan Wood.

“For about 15 years there were seven statewide partnerships in North Carolina,” said Wood. “Each year, up to the end of this fiscal year, there had been state funding to the regional partnerships to market all the communities in that partnership, both urban and rural.”

But in July that funding will go away. More here.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Economic development leaders hope to sell companies on former home of deadly chemical weapons

By HAYLEIGH COLOMBO  Journal & Courier

NEWPORT, Indiana — When Bill Laubernds tours the 7,000-acre Newport Chemical Depot — complete with abandoned structures, old cemeteries and derelict signs of the country's chemical history of producing chemical weapons — he doesn't see an old chemical plant site. He sees potential.

Laubernds, executive director of the Newport Chemical Depot Reuse Authority, has since 2009 been trying to build a new future at the Newport site, complete with businesses, industrial investment and natural, open space in the confines of the fenced-in expanse that used to house part of the country's chemical weapons stockpile.

The last truck filled with VX left the depot in 2008.

You can truck the chemical weapons away, but can you ever really separate the depot from the weapons? More here.

IEDC rolls out 'Stillinnoyed?' campaign

Three years after launching its "Illinnoyed" marketing campaign, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is making another push to attract companies dissatisfied with Illinois' business climate.

The new campaign — called "Stillinnoyed?" — was launched this week on billboards and digital signs throughout the Chicagoland area, the IEDC said in an announcement. The ads are scheduled to run for eight weeks.

The push complements Indiana's "A State that Works" campaign that began last year and is focused on reaching businesses in high-tax states.

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace, companies are seeking to maximize their competitive advantage,” Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith said in the IEDC announcement. “Indiana offers companies the ultimate upper hand, with lower taxes and more affordable business costs just minutes away from downtown Chicago. When comparing Indiana to high-tax Illinois, the difference is clear.”

Monday, March 24, 2014

McGraw: CEO, civic engagement key to creating jobs

Josh Pichler, 

 Jim McGraw has worked with thousands of CEOs in more than 100 cities, helping business clients find the right communities to locate, expand and create jobs.

The CEO of Downtown-based KMK Consulting Co. LLC has seen deals blow up because of indifferent public officials and executives. He’s seen deals happen because elected leaders and CEOs were passionate, prepared and unwilling to take no for an answer.

So it should be no surprise that some board members of REDI Cincinnati, the region’s recently overhauled economic development arm, plan to informally pick McGraw’s brain as they work to take recruiting and expansion to new levels.

McGraw knows well that successful recruiting isn’t just about a region touting its economic incentives or measurable attributes – its universities, attractive urban core, available land and office space. It’s also about intangible assets like engaged, enthusiastic public officials and civic and business leaders.

Nor should economic development be limited to pursuing high-paying jobs. It also means matching jobs with workforce needs so every citizen has employment opportunities. More here.