Monday, October 22, 2012

Szatan tells Missoula how to 'stay on the island' to attract businesses

Jerry Szatan isn’t a big fan of the reality TV competition “Survivor.”

But when it comes to explaining how cities like Missoula can be successful in attracting new companies, Szatan can’t help but bring up the show.

To win, “you have to stay on the island,” Szatan said.

As a national site selection consultant, it’s Szatan’s job to help companies find the best spots to start, expand or relocate. He explained his process Friday to a group of Missoula businesspeople, sharing his thoughts on how they could be on his clients’ lists of finalists. More here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Regional rebranding

Nothing against Hernando County, but when it comes to marketing the airport, Economic Development Manager Mike McHugh said he would have better success if the name Tampa was in the title.

The Hernando County Airport may be well-known to people here, but business interests around the nation have no idea where Brooksville and environs are located, he said. More here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Top 5 Resources of Location Information

Corporate location executives who are subscribers to Business Facilities Magazine and the Business Facilities Headline eNewsletter were surveyed about where they acquire information when making a location decision.  The results were:
  1. Internet (63%)
  2. Magazines (47%)
  3. Economic Development Agencies (45%)
  4. Consultant (42%)
  5. Referrals from Associates (38%)
The findings suggest that a multi-channel marketing effort is essential when promoting your location to site selectors. And, while online sources have grown in importance, traditional sources like print and face-to-face are still key resources for location information. 

Source: Business Facilities second annual Economic Development Marketing Survey: “How Executives Use Media During a Site Search”, 2012.

5 Best Content Ideas for Site Selection Consultant E-Newlsetters

E-newsletters continue to be a cost-effective, efficient way to communicate with site selection professionals. To improve open rates and organizational credibility, deliver high value content. Among the topics of greatest interest:
  1. Location information and project descriptions
  2. Deals and incentives packages
  3. Economic statistics
  4. Trends
  5. Market Data – size, growth, etc.
Source: Business Facilities second annual Economic Development Marketing Survey: “How Executives Use Media During a Site Search, 2012.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"We're Getting Outhustled" Says Dothan Mayor

by: Lance Griffin | Dothan Eagle

Dothan Mayor sat at a conference table three weeks ago and proclaimed that “we’re getting outhustled.”

He didn’t mean outworked. Schmitz and other area leaders have had the ear of scores of regional, national and foreign business executives over the past few years. Many of them come to Dothan. The vast majority of them like Dothan and the people.

But eventually it comes down to the deal, the hustle.

“In today’s competitive market, other communities and cities are putting deals out there that we just can't,” Schmitz said. “We need to get ahead of the curve. It is important to sell our community, our quality of life and everything that goes along with it, but it does come down to incentives at some time.”

Schmitz wants to find $1 million per year for an economic development fund for the purpose of recruiting new industry to the Wiregrass. He said the state’s budget struggles place more responsibility on cities now more than ever.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

City leaders along I-55 form new economic development group

As industrial site selectors are taking a more regional approach when looking for locations, Southeast Missouri communities are making an effort to market themselves as a region.

"In this global economy, you've got to act regionally and that's what we're doing," said Perry County Economic Development Authority director Scott Sattler, a member of the new Interstate 55 Corridor Group.

The group has members from Sikeston, Scott City, Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Perryville as well as Perry, Cape Girardeau and Scott counties.

"It's still in its infancy," Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger said. "We've come together and had one meeting. We have no specific plans or marketing thoughts together yet."

The joint effort will not infringe on or supersede any local plans of any of the member communities, he said. More here

Chambers of commerce agree to cooperate

Chambers in Shelby County Tennessee signed a memorandum of understanding to not to invade each other's territory in pursuit of economic development.The Greater Memphis, Collierville, Germantown, Bartlett, Arlington, Millington and Arlington chambers are participating. More here.

RI gov seeks 'back-to-basics' economic development

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee met Thursday with government and private-sector leaders to present his vision for a ‘‘back-to-basics’’ approach to economic development following the collapse of former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s video game company.

Chafee convened the roomful of officials — ranging from the head of the state AFL-CIO to an executive at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce — in an attempt to put new life into lifting the state’s sagging economy and efforts to improve a business climate that is consistently given low marks.

Rhode Island has struggled with the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, now at 10.7 percent. More here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Great Lakes neighbors bet on wet

By Rod Kackley

Michigan's more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline -- combined with all of its rivers, streams and inland lakes -- hold the potential to wash the rust off the state.

In neighboring Wisconsin and Ontario, that potential is starting to be realized for this "blue economy," where water is the fuel for economic development.

For now, Michigan trails both. More here.

What Site Selectors Like in Websites

Jay Garner of Garner Economics offered this list of of information site selectors want to see on an economic development website.  

•Contact info on how to reach a human
•Functional navigation
•Maps that show your geography
•The value proposition of your community/region, e.g. costs
•Transportation assets
•Sites and building database that is current
•Current labor, employer, demographic and economic data, especially if you are a contrived region that is not part of an MSA or CSA
•Info on community colleges, higher ED, career pathways and technical schools, and related curriculum that differentiates you
•Info on your community or region that we can’t find elsewhere, e.g. plant closings
•Targeted industries and the business case on why
•Incentive data
•Quality of place data

Contact Garner at

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Florida making major strides in economic development


SANDESTIN — Florida’s secretary of commerce says the state has gone from the minor leagues of economic development to the major league.

Gray Swoope, the secretary of commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida — the state’s principal economic development organization — says the state has made major strides the past two years to improve economic development.

“Florida had and still has good economic developers in place, but what had happened was the structure failed,” Swoope said. “There was just a total disconnect. When Gov. Scott came in, he put the pieces together. It’s still a hard process, but if you have the right people in place, you have the right attitude in place, you can move forward and make things happen.”

Swoope stressed the importance of regionalism in the success of economic development. He compared it to what he called the bear strategy, which is to make yourself appear bigger than you actually are if you are attacked by a bear.

“If you look at all those assets that this region offers and you start marketing together as one, then there’s nobody who can compete with you,” Swoope said. “You have everything from universities to land to buildings, professional economic developers, counties that are pro-business. There’s nobody that can touch you.” More here.

New name, new strategic focus for Chamber and EDC

RICH LADEN, The Gazette

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC has changed its identity: Starting Thursday, the organization has rebranded itself as the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.

The new name, along with a new logo and strategic focus, is the latest change for the organization after a merger in February of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp.

Read more:

Year after Collier economic council folded, county-chamber partnership takes shape


— Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, Collier County's new strategy for growing jobs is falling into place piece by piece.

It's a strategy that has unfolded over the last year since the county's Economic Development Council went out of business, following a firestorm of criticism about the public-private partnership whose longtime mission was to diversify the local economy and create high-paying jobs.

The council's last day of business was Sept. 30 of last year, the end of its fiscal year. The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce scrambled to pick up some of the pieces, continuing programs that recognize local businesses and help them grow. More here.

Gulf Coast reaping benefits of Airbus-fueled economic development explosion

As what may be the world's fourth-largest aerospace corridor prepares for unprecedented growth, Mobile and Baldwin counties lie at the heart of an anticipated economic development explosion that could easily stretch 300 miles in radius.

Spanning Interstate 10 from Panama City to New Orleans, the Gulf Coast aerospace corridor's direct employment outpaced the sector's national growth between 2005 and 2010, and Alabama's growth alone increased 20 percent during that period to more than 23,000 jobs.

And with more than 33,500 acres available -- and advertised -- for development across Alabama's coastal counties, aerospace leaders are confident the upward trend will only continue to increase as Airbus prepares to build a $600 million final assembly line at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile. More here.

$10 Million Economic Development Fund For Brevard

The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast is pleased to announce that it has developed an economic development incentive fund designed to assist in expanding existing Brevard County high-tech and manufacturing businesses and attracting new businesses to the Space Coast.

This fund, supported by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will supplement existing state and local economic development incentives to increase Brevard County’s competitiveness in economic development projects, while further mitigating the job loss and economic impact of the space shuttle program retirement.

“This fund provides us with an economic development tool that supplements our competitive advantages, including our highly skilled workforce and pro-business environment,” said Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “The incentive program is designed to be the final push that influences a company’s decision to locate or expand in Brevard County, further diversifying our economy and moving the Space Coast beyond the shuttle era.” More here.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

University partners with Lee, Collier groups to spur growth

Economic development leaders from Lee and Collier counties have formed an alliance with FGCU to better attract and grow businesses in Southwest Florida.

This past week, representatives from the Horizon Council, Lee’s public/private economic development partnership; the economic development arm of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce; and FGCU signed a memorandum of understanding they will work together in the alliance.

Jim Moore, director of Lee County’s Economic Development Office, said there was momentum for a regional alliance for economic development about 5-6 years ago, but it lost focus amid the economic downturn. Lee’s Economic Development office is a county government agency, but provides staffing for the public/private Horizon Council.

“I’ve always been a big believer in regionalism and, in Southwest Florida, you cannot have a regional effort without Lee and Collier coming together,” Moore said. “When site selectors or business executives are looking for a place to do business, political boundaries don’t matter. They look at resources on a regional basis.” More here.

Chamber, Link will go separate ways by 2014

Carmen K. Sisson

By next month, the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link will exist only in the annals of local history, a fact which has left many to wonder what will happen to the Chamber of Commerce once the economic development portion of the Link is folded into a new tri-county regional partnership between Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties.

The short answer is: Nothing, for a while. The Chamber of Commerce, and all its initiatives, will continue to function under the leadership of Chamber Vice President Macaulay Whitaker for the next two years while a plan is created for the organization's structure, funding and future.

The long answer is a bit more complicated, with many details still undetermined. 

Read more:

Wichita Chamber, GWEDC launch $9 million fundraising, leadership campaign.

 , Web producer- Wichita Business Journal

The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and its economic-development partner are embarking on a new fundraising campaign and leadership development effort, both with the long-term goal of ensuring that Wichita is among the top 25 percent of metropolitan areas nationwide for economic performance.

The Chamber and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition announced the Business at Full Throttle leadership campaign for economic development on Thursday.

The campaign aims to raise $9 million to sustain GWEDC for the next five years and to fund a new Chamber leadership council. The council, made up of CEOs from the private and public sectors, will work to eliminate barriers to economic development and capitalize on opportunities. More here.

DCI Accepting "40 Under 40" Nominations

Development Counsellors International has launched economic development's first ever 40 under 40 competition.

They're looking for deal closers, job creators, investment attractors and marketing extraordinaires under the age of forty. If you know someone who would be a good candidate, including yourself if you're under forty, please go to to nominate him/her. 

Nominees will be reviewed by a stellar group of six thought leaders in the profession. Click here to see who's on the selection committee and learn a bit more about them.  

DCI will be accepting nominations through Oct. 31, 2012 and will be announcing winners at IEDC's Leadership Summit in Orlando in January. 

Nominate your candidate today.