Friday, April 26, 2013

Economic Development Trends 1999-2009

Through three surveys conducted over the past decade, changes in economic development strategies employed by localities have been observed. 

Academic research has identified three waves of economic development.

The first wave strategies look outward for economic growth is characterized by a focus on business attraction through financial incentives and infrastructure investment.

Second-wave development strategies seek to retain and expand existing firms.

Third-wave strategies focus on strategies such as quality of life and environmental concerns that are more commonly referred to as “community development” (including sustainability initiatives) and small business development.

In comparing the use of these practices between 1994 and 2004 it was discovered that local governments progress through these stages in an evolutionary manner - even while still relying on strategies from all three waves.

Other findings:
  1. Municipalities are the primary entity responsible for local economic development
  2. Chambers of commerce experienced a considerable decrease in their recognition as economic development partners.
  3. Less than half of municipalities have a written economic development plan
  4. Municipalities are feeling increased competitive pressure from abroad
  5. Distressed areas face the most competition because they compete for the lowest skilled jobs.
  6. Availability and cost of land, along with a lack of capital,  are among the top barriers to economic development.
Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., Susan M. Opp and R. Lorraine Bernotsky, Yesterday’s Gains Versus Today’s Realties: Lessons From 10 Years of Economic Development Practice. Economic Development Quarterly November 2012 26: 334-350, first published on October 24, 2012 doi:10.1177/0891242412465002

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Leaders ponder regional economic development effort

By Greg Stanley
Janyce Fadden has one piece of advice for whomever succeeds her at the helm of Rockford Area Economic Development Council — collaborate with  public and private sector leaders to retain business and attract new industry to the region.

 Regionalism has never come easy to Rockford and its neighbors, but now is the time and the clock is ticking, said Fadden, who will leave her post at the end of the month. More here.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Virgina, Utah Team Up On Mission to California, Asia

Gov. Bob McDonnell, several cabinet secretaries and a team of Virginia economic development officials will embark Wednesday, April 10 on a 16-day job creation and economic development marketing mission to Los Angeles, San Francisco, China and Japan before concluding on April 26.

In California, the governor will partner with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in California to co-market Virginia and Utah to companies that might be looking to expand in the U.S. Both states have similar assets and target industries, and are ranked the top two Best States for Business according to This partnership allows Virginia and Utah to jointly offer companies options in their growth strategy, which could include an East Coast or Mountain West location depending on their specific needs. More here.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

States Reviving Incentives for Firms to Relocate

With revenues up, state officials are again courting companies considering moving in or expanding. But it'll be tough to prove the lures actually pay off.  More here.

By Karen Mracek

Thomas Jefferson Partnership Rebrands

The Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development on Thursday unveiled a new name, brand and organizational message.

Formed in 1995, the nonprofit economic development organization is now known as the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development.

Helen Cauthen, the partnership’s president, explained that she and the organization’s board members did not take lightly the decision to drop the famous statesman from the organization’s name.

“As esteemed as the name Thomas Jefferson is,” Cauthen said, “it is used across the country for schools, for counties, for other governments and [we asked], ‘How are we really differentiating ourselves?’” The new name, she said, clearly identifies the state, region and communities the partnership serves. More here.

Fairfax, Va., economic development chief takes shot at Prince George's

Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal
Gerald Gordon, president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, is known to take a swipe or two at neighboring jurisdictions — usually in good fun.

But he left good-natured at the door during an economic development forum Thursday when he told an audience at the Belle Haven Country Club something to the effect of (and I’m paraphrasing here): There is some logic for the FBI going to Prince George’s because that’s where they'll find the people they have to pick up.

“I yelled, ‘out of line,’” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Outside of the “competitive, locker room style digs” at Prince George’s and Loudoun counties, Gordon’s presentation was “otherwise professional,” Schwartz said.

“The people in the crowd were audibly taken aback by his statement about Prince George’s County,” said Schwartz, whose organization is promoting a new FBI headquarters near a Metro station, which would include both Fairfax and Prince George’s. More here.

Server farms are sprouting in NC

When Google announced six years ago that it would build a $600 million data center in Lenoir, it instantly put North Carolina on the map with data center developers everywhere.

In the years since, both the Triangle and the state have seen a wave of investment in such properties, both from larger corporations such as Disney, Apple and Facebook and now from investors and data center operators that rent space to multiple tenants.

Read more here.