Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Twitter Chose Berlin

Richard Florida writes in The Atlantic about why Berlin will become the new German headquarters of Twitter. More here.

Can a Town Rebrand From Its Racist Past?

 Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 28, 2012 04:36 PM

One Arkansas town that ran most of its black residents out of town back in 1905, burning down homes and shooting out windows, is hoping to let bygones be bygones and recast itself. The small town of Harrison, Arkansas, is now trying to rebrand itself now as a place that’s open to minorities of all stripes, the Associated Press reports.

In a town of 13,000, there are currently only 34 visible minorities that currently live in Harrison, but the town would like to draw more residents and businesses regardless of skin color, the AP adds. Town leaders have created a task force on race relations, invited a civil-rights speaker come in, and printed posters about the city’s past difficulties. But is it all whitewashing? More here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Study: Interstate bickering hampers region's economy

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development presented a report asserting that Chicago's tri-state area's potential is stymied by fragmented and uncoordinated economic development efforts and wasteful border wars.

The 12-month study, conducted by for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, is being rolled out on the heels of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's first economic growth plan, unveiled last week.  More here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jaguars owner Shahid Khan ready to sell First Coast around the world

Jacksonville (FL) is looking to Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn  to use his global connections to gain more attention and jobs from international firms. 

Khan said he is willing and in training to be  Jacksonville’s No. 1 salesperson. He offers Jaguars jerseys to foreign customers and plans to host international busines executives at Jaguars games.  

Interestingly, in his hometown of Champaign, IL - where his automotive parts firm is headquartered - pursuing international firms has not been a big part of the region’s business strategy. More here

Thursday, March 08, 2012

City of Janesville to invest in development

The City of Janesville decides to ramp up their marketing effort by spending $22,000 for lead generation and database development services.  More here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Getting in the game

From an editorial in the Ocala (FL) Star Banner:
There is more to successful economic development than aggressive recruitment, doling out incentives and putting down new utility lines and roads. A lot more.
That was the message this week from consultants for Ocala/Marion County business leaders who are orchestrating the merger of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corp. To be competitive, said Jon Roberts of TIP Strategies of Austin, Texas, requires a "holistic view" that creates a unified strategy for both "short-term fixes and long-term transformational initiatives." More here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Sweden Pitching for More Data Centers

Officials in Sweden are pretty excited about the new Facebook data center in Lulea, as illustrated by this huge ice sculpture of the "Like" symbol. Economic development officials are hoping to leverage that success to win other data center projects. More here

Area Development's 8th Annual Site Selection Consultants Survey Results

Good stuff in here for economic development marketers: 8th Annual Site Selection Consultants Survey Results.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Economic alliance forms

Chambers of commerce and economic development groups in the Acadiana and Lake Charles areas have announced plans to form a “super region” for economic development.
The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Lafayette Economic Development Authority, the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance in Lake Charles and others are scheduled to meet in Crowley on Friday to sign a pact creating the Greater Southwest Louisiana Super Region. More here

Sunday, March 04, 2012

City looking for marketing firm to help 'tell the Hudson story'

The City of Hudson, Ohio has allocated $100,000 to promote the city as the place companies need to choose for economic development.

Council legislation allows the city to seek applications from the most qualified person or firm, and not just the lowest bid. 

"We want the most qualified person to reach our goals for this program and that may not always be the lowest," said Economic Development Director Chuck Wiedie.

The marketing program will be done in phases so more than one firm may be involved, Wiedie said.

The initial goal it to develop a brand for the city. Another phase would include meetings with business executives.

"One marketing firm may not get all the work," Wiedie said. "We may split it among different firms depending on the qualifications of people who submit [applications]." More here

Framingham battles anti-business image

Concerned about  its reputation as an anti-business friendly community, the Framingham Board of Selectmen has charged the Economic Development and Industrial Corp. with assessing the town’s business climate and thinking up ways to improve it.

Read more here.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Alliance looks ahead to change

The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance is in flux.

Its chairwoman doesn’t see a need to redefine the non-profit organization’s mission of creating jobs and wealth in the county. But other changes are inevitable.

The Alliance is launching a national search for a new president after the abrupt departure of Andi Udris, who led the organization for almost three years.

And an ambitious strategic planning process is only about two months away from the board’s consideration, when the directors will debate and prioritize ideas for making the community more attractive to business investors. More here

Friday, March 02, 2012

Is state spending to entice data farms worth it?

As communities work to attract data centers, some critics say the costs far outweigh economic benefits; others say it offers important prestige. This article discusses recent efforts and discussion of the topic in Iowa. More here

Know thy competition in economic development game

This editorial from the newspaper in Peoria, Illinois examines Caterpillar's recent announcement that it will build a much sought-after manufacturing plant in Georgia. The company initially appeared to be leaning toward North Carolina. 
The paper looks at how Peoria and the surrounding central Illinois stack up in the ballgame for new investment and jobs.  More here

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Recruiting 'mega' industry goal of economic developers

Economic developers from Southeast Alabama and Northwest Florida are working together to bring a "mega" industry to the region in an effort to provide more jobs to the area.

Neal Wade, the executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance, said a larger population base in Alabama coupled with larger tracts of land and transportation networks in Florida make a perfect marriage of assets between the two states.

Matt Parker, the president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, said the groups are working to develop a mega site or sites with large tracts of land, ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 acres. More

Hizer: Marketing county could be done by PBACC

Jim Hizer, President/CEO of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (PBACC) and resident of Gulf Breeze, told the economic development transitional team of Santa Rosa County last week that he believes each county should have their own independent economic development organization – not to be combined under one umbrella.
However, he also told them he sees no reason Santa Rosa County’s economic development group should worry about marketing, since his Pensacolabased group can do that for the entire two-county area. More here