Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lake Norman economic-development agencies form marketing cooperative

Senior Staff Writer- Charlotte Business Journal

Five Lake Norman area economic development agencies are forming a marketing cooperative.

Called simply The Lake Norman Region, the concept has the financial backing of EnergyUnited, the state’s largest electric cooperative, which is based in Statesville.

The agencies participating are Catawba Economic Development Corp., Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corp., Lincoln Economic Development Association, Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp. and Statesville Regional Development.

Each will contribute $2,000 a year to finance a website and a “get acquainted” event planned for later this year. EnergyUnited will support the cooperative financially but the company hasn’t established a budget for the operation.

“The goal is to get the marketing idea off the ground and then begin to utilize the synergies that exist,” says Tim Holder vice president of sales and economic development at EnergyUnited.

On the to-do list for the new cooperative is a direct mail campaign to potential industrial clients and site consultants, Holder says. The website for the effort is

Holder and others say the marketing effort isn’t connected to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s plans to privatize some of its functions. Michael Smith, executive director of Statesville Regional Development, says his agency remains “committed to the regional marketing efforts of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, but we are also happy to be able to now create a sub-regional group, like several other parts of N.C. have done over the years.”

The partnership’s counties would be reorganized in the N.C. legislation to privatize functions of the state’s department of commerce.

EnergyUnited, the second-largest electric utility in North Carolina, serves 19 counties along Interstates 77 and 85, north of Charlotte. It has 122,000 customers.

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