Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Money Walks

A new book and website, “How Money Walks” (, by Travis H. Brown looks at how adjusted growth income (AGI) has changed between 1995 to 2010 as people have moved around the country. County level data is available.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Amarillo Economic Development Corp. courts gun makers

Officials are working to lure gun manufacturers from the Northeast to Amarillo in the wake of gun-control legislation that is prompting many companies to consider leaving Connecticut and other states.

Buzz David, Amarillo Economic Development Corp. president, said Friday he just returned from a trip to gun manufacturers’ facilities in New York and Connecticut with Gov. Rick Perry.

David said he met with representatives of several gun manufacturers who have expressed an interest in possibly relocating operations to Texas.

“We are working on projects with several of those folks,” said David, who declined to name the companies, citing the sensitivity of the negotiations. More here.

A social media lure for Indiana jobs?

 Written by Chris Sikich

Taking a page — or pageview — from the marketing campaigns of many businesses, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has turned to social media.

The agency has launched a marketing campaign called “A State that Works” to sell Indiana as a place to locate and grow a business. It’s targeting digital, mobile and print media in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California — high-tax states rated as poor places to do business by CEO Magazine.

Indiana will sell itself to the usual national publications and through a website,, but the agency also is updating its development status on Facebook, highlighting its potential in 140 characters on Twitter, and posting its favorite pics of Indiana on Instagram.

The effort, which costs $87,000 per month, began in May and is expected to run through the year. So far, it has attracted more than 11 million viewers. IEDC officials say that is the most successful activity so early on in a marketing campaign in the agency’s history. They’re touting low taxes, the Hoosier workforce, jobs growth and investment in new and expanded facilities. More here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

MEDC's new focus: Targeted industries, high-priority markets


Hunting and attraction efforts are returning to the Michigan Economic Development Corp. with a renewed focus this year.

The MEDC has created an export and attraction team that will focus on targeted industries and high-priority markets as part of a new strategic plan guiding the agency through 2017.

Those industries include manufacturing, energy, biosciences, chemical and agriculture. Countries being targeted are Canada, China, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the United Kingdom.

The goal for the coming fiscal year is to target $445 million in investment and 4,000 jobs due to attraction efforts.

After Gov. Rick Snyder took office in 2011 and said in his first State of the State address that there needed to be "more emphasis on economic gardening as opposed to hunting," the organization has done just that.

But now, the MEDC is going back to its days of attracting businesses from other states and other countries, President and CEO Michael Finney said.  More here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Red Carpet Tour Courts Site Selectors

By Bill Dries

Site selection experts from six nationally known firms got a “red carpet tour” from the Greater Memphis Chamber Wednesday, June 5, in a recruitment effort that included a look at the industrial infrastructure of the Memphis area.

They also got assurances from state leaders out of Nashville that the administration of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is behind the local efforts.
Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty spoke just before the annual “Red Carpet Tour,” emphasizing a geographical advantage that is unique to Tennessee.

“We’ve got competitive advantages that in sum beat every other state that is contiguous to our state,” he said before the luncheon.

The statement is important because Tennessee is bordered by eight states, more than any other state in the union. More here.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Too many tools? Economic-development groups starting to overlap

— Doug Lengenfelder admits that 45 economic-development organizations would seem like enough – even for financially distressed Cambria County.

That's why the president Cambria County commissioner first approached one of the existing organizations when commissioners proposed bringing the federal foreign trade zone program here.

The list was included in a report to the previous county commissioners by consultant Emily White of Duane Morris Government Strategies. It includes a wide range of organizations working in various roles to create jobs and promote business within Cambria County. More here.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

City tries to impress site selectors

Written by Jodi Schwan

Fewer than 300 people nationwide hold the same sort of job as the seven site selection consultants who visited Sioux Falls earlier this month.

These are the individuals hired by companies to scout locations for relocations or expansions and recommend cities.

“We bring in groups of about that size to showcase the community,” said Slater Barr, president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “Their interests are a little different and a little related, so it’s about the perspective of is this a place that is capable of supporting the location of a new corporate facility of some type – manufacturing or headquarters or whatever it may be.”

The site selectors’ visit to Sioux Falls was coordinated by the development foundation and a Denver-based team from Development Counsellors International, an economic development marketing firm hired to help promote the city. More here.

Moving the chips of economic development in Haywood

Written by 

An exploratory committee of Haywood County business leaders will examine in the coming months whether to reshuffle the county’s economic development arm for the second time in a decade.

Traction is building to move the Haywood County Economic Development Commission under the auspices of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. Both are separate entities now — the chamber is run by private business leaders and the economic development commission is run by county government.

But both presumably have a similar goal: to improve commerce, bolster the economy and grow jobs.

The task force will examine whether those goals would be better served if the county’s economic development commission was brought into the chamber of commerce’s fold. 

The county would continue to fund economic development efforts, but they would be carried out in closer concert with the chamber on a day-to-day basis. The possible configurations run the gamut from simply sharing the same office building to the chamber directing economic development activities. More here.

Modesto to weigh chamber's economic development plan

-- Modesto will consider the Chamber of Commerce's economic development plan, which calls for more land for business parks and upgrading roads to attract jobs.

Chamber officials presented the plan Tuesday night before the City Council.

At the end of the presentation, Mayor Garrad Marsh said the plan will be sent to the city's Planning Commission for review. It also could be reviewed by the council's Economic Development Committee before coming back to the council.

City Manager Greg Nyhoff and council members thanked chamber officials for their hard work, soliciting input from a variety of groups and courage in taking a stand.

Echoing Michelle Obama's remarks after the election of her husband as president, Councilman Dave Cogdill Jr. said: "I'm proud of my chamber for the first time in a long time. What you guys did was very impressive."

Read more here:

Corporate Relocation Activity Picking Up As Business Confidence Rises

By Randyl Drummer
CoStar Group

As business confidence in the economic recovery deepens, corporate c-suites are at least thinking about when and where to expand their operations.

Although the evidence is largely anecdotal so far, commercial real estate brokers and corporate site selection consultants tell CoStar they've noticed a general increase in the number of corporate expansions and headquarters relocations after sitting on their hands through the recession and early recovery.

Prompted by a variety of motives ranging from cost-cutting consolidation stemming from mergers and acquisitions, to seeking big tax incentive packages from states and local government, to intense competitive in the recruitment of talented employees, companies seem more willing in recent months to consider expansion and relocation as an alternative, both within and outside their current real estate footprints. More here.

Taney County to Use "Secret Shopper" to Evaluate Preparedness

By Kris Collins

The Taney County Business Development Partnership is taking another step to make the Tri-Lakes Area more attractive to new businesses.

The Partnership, in collaboration with the Missouri Partnership and Springfield Regional Economic Partnership, soon will learn the pros and cons the Tri-Lakes Area offers for business developers through a mock test. The three have employed InSite Consulting, LLC, to act as a business developer interested in the county, looking at sites.

Garrett Anderson, director of economic development for the city of Branson, said the mock evaluation would provide the county with information on how to better handle site location inquiries in a more timely fashion.

“Ultimately, it helps speed up the process,” Anderson said. “We usually only have a couple of days to respond when inquiries come in. When we’re better prepared, we’re in a better position to give a positive and favorable response where we may be favored. It’s a matter of being prepared.” More here.

Craven leaders consider new twist in economic development plan

 By Sue Book, Sun Journal Staff

Consultants hired to draft a Craven County strategic economic development plan suggest the best way to get jobs is with a multi-government, business and civic nonprofit partnership group.

The unexpected conclusion about how to replace the Craven County Economic Development Commission, which was dissolved and its staff eliminated about a year ago, was relayed to Craven County Board of Commissioners last week in a budget work session.

The steering committee got the report from RKG Associates Inc. at a meeting recently and plan to present it more formally to commissioners after they have digested and analyzed its contents more thoroughly, probably in June.

The recommendation for a 501(C)3 nonprofit group comes just as Craven County Manager Jack Veit is set to interview a second round of candidates for a new county staff position for economic development, which is funded in the proposed budget. More here.

Another economic development deal goes sour

From the Beaufort Observer 

We here at the Observer have contended for sometime now that care should be taken by government officials before they take risks with taxpayers' money. We think economic development incentives can be a good and effective way to promote economic growth and development but that no all such grants are sound.

We are currently researching one such grant. That is one that was obtained to run a sewer line down River Road to service an expansion of the Carver Machine Works facility. The grant was supposed to create a prescribed number of jobs and when Carver failed to do so the state refused to disperse all of the promised grant money. The county and City of Washington taxpayers were stuck with some $200,000 in "clawbacks."

We've not finished the research on this project but what we have already learned is that it was not a good deal. The primary reason for this assessment is that the officials who negotiated the grant and the Board of Commissioners and City Council failed in a simple, well accepted strategy in such undertakings: They failed to secure adequate collateral to cover the risk. When Carver fell short, Carver had no obligation to cover the clawback the taxpayers were forced to swallow. More here.

Report: Walton County lags in economic development

Walton County economic development efforts are threatened by a “lack of creative and strategic thinking” and weakened by a limited pool of skilled labor, strategic planners have found.

County officials must outline clear goals for the future, commit financially to economic growth and consider partnering with a neighboring economic development organization “that could provide expertise and assistance,” the planners said.

Developed by the Institute for Senior Professionals from Northwest Florida State College, the Walton County Economic Development Alliance Strategic Plan 2013 will be presented to county commissioners Tuesday.

Read the report. >>

Lincoln economy on top of its game

Ten years ago, to the day, economic development consultant Angelos Angelou gave Lincoln some sobering marching recommendations.

Aside from the organizing, meeting, targeting, soul-searching, rethinking and play-nice kind of advice, he said: "I think Lincoln has to basically trust, first, Lincoln. And people in Lincoln have to trust themselves for making the right decisions.

"The thing we've talked about over and over again is information does not flow very well in Lincoln. People don't know a whole lot of the basic elements of the city. They are probably their own worst promoters of Lincoln. Being excited and energetic and the level of enthusiasm, that is all about economic development. More here.