Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cities eye economic development alliance

City leaders go out of their way to praise High Point’s economic development efforts.

They point to a long list of success by the High Point Economic Development Corp. recruiting new businesses and fostering expansions of existing companies.

So why would High Point want any part of a possible countywide economic development coalition that is now the subject of discussion among local government leaders?

In short, officials said it could enhance the region’s chances of landing a major project like an auto plant, without diminishing local recruitment functions.

“I think for large projects, something like this could be highly effective,” said Mayor Bill Bencini. “If there is a countywide effort, I don’t see it in any way eliminating High Point’s economic development efforts.” More here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Selling the cold, Minnesota's tech community welcomes data centers

 Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune

The bracing chill of a Minnesota winter doesn’t make for alluring tourism slogans, but there is an industry beyond dogsledding in which it’s a selling point: data centers.

Selling all that cold air to tech companies that need to keep towers of computers from overheating has become the work of people like Tom Lambrecht, manager of economic development services for the utility cooperative Great River Energy.

“It’s hard to get a professional volleyball league to come up here, but we can get a data center,” said Lambrecht.

That’s the hope, anyway, of an increasing number of Minnesota cities from North Mankato to St. Cloud who see a long-term boost to property tax revenues in data centers — the places where all of the information on the Internet gets stored.  More here.

WEDC sings virtues of Wisconsin to national business leaders

After two consecutive years of economic growth, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is pumping up the volume on its marketing program and hoping that business decision makers are hearing why they should bring their companies to the Badger State.

WEDC, an organization that has replaced the state’s former Department of Commerce, began a marketing program in July 2011. Each year since, it has added a new element in an attempt to attract more business to the state.

The first two campaigns focused on branding, informing the national and regional business community what WEDC was about and that the state was open for business, according to spokesman Mark Maley. Those campaigns may have helped to encourage some companies to relocate and other to expand operations in the state.

This year, the organization is launching a $1.58 million advertising-marketing campaign that features social media, national business and trade publication advertisements, online marketing and focused radio ads touting the benefits of relocating to Wisconsin.

The radio ads will run on select stations in the Twin Cities and in Chicago.

“This is more hard-hitting,” said Kelly Lietz, WEDC vice president of marketing. “Though there is some national reach, the border states are important. We’re running the radio ads in these cities because Illinois is a prime market for us. While a number of companies have relocated from Illinois over the past couple of years, Minnesota also is an important market for us.”  More here.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Missouri’s Economic Development Organizations Nationally Rank as Best in Class

The Missouri Partnership and the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) were cited as “Best in Class” for state and regional economic development organizations, respectively, in a new survey of location advisors. While the Missouri Partnership tied for fifth place with Kansas and Oklahoma Departments of Commerce for state economic development organizations, KCADC ranked first among regional economic development organizations.

Conducted every three years since 1996 by Development Counsellors International (DCI), the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development” report tracks trends in economic development to determine the best business climates among all 50 states. Key factors include tax climate, “pro-business environment,” incentives/financial assistance and workforce quality/availability.

The survey also ranked Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina as having the overall best business climates domestically, and China, the United Kingdom and Germany as the top countries for international investment opportunities.

DCI’s 2014 Winning Strategies report collected feedback from 356 corporate executives and location advisors, the greatest response to date. The report assembles the perceptions of business executives throughout the nation on the most effective economic development marketing techniques and strategies. Corporate executive respondents were equally divided among manufacturing and service industries, and nearly a quarter had gross revenues of $500 million or higher.

Albany-Dougherty EDC looks to phase 2 of community marketing campaign

ALBANY — As they bask in the embers of the afterglow from their award-winning “There’s Only One Albany” marketing campaign, members of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission face a daunting question.

What’s next?

EDC staff and board members started the process of finding an answer to that question at the commission’s monthly board meeting Wednesday morning.

"We don’t have an answer today, but it’s something we need to start thinking about,” EDC Chairman Jay Smith said after Economic Development Commission President Justin Strickland and Vice President Barbara Rivera Holmes recapped the marketing campaign that is winding toward its six-month conclusion.

Strickland told the board continuation of the campaign is vital, but he said the questions now are who will drive the campaign into a Phase 2 and who will finance it.  More here.

Mapping a nation of regional clusters

The U.S. Cluster Mapping Portal ( provides over 50 million open data records on industry clusters and regional business environments to promote economic growth and U.S. competitiveness.  The project is led by Professor Michael Porter through Harvard Business School's Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Economic Development Administration.

10-sided business card wins marketing awards

By Paul Huggins | 


MADISON, Alabama - The City of Madison's Industrial Development Board won three marketing awards, including "Best in Class" at the recent Southern Economic Development Council conference.

The top award in the communications competition was for a 10-panel, according-style business card that shows attractive statistics about the city. The Madison IDB competed in the small division category, which featured 20 total communication awards.

Mayor Troy Trulock commended Madison Planning and Economic Development Director Amy Bell Sturdivant and the IDB board of directors during Monday night's meeting. For the group to win three out of the 20 awards the first time it had entered the competition shows outstanding creativity and coordination, he said.  More here.

City of Seaford to launch branding/marketing initiative

SEAFORD — The City of Seaford is the latest Sussex County municipality with plans to take its image to market.

The city has hired Arnett Muldrow & Associates to conduct a branding/marketing initiative to create a consistent image package for the community and its partners to use to continue to build local pride, recruit investment to the community and market Seaford to visitors.

The marketing and branding resource visit for Seaford will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 9 with a series of round table meetings with various stakeholder groups. More here.

Major economic development plan for southern Indiana unveiled

By Mike Grant Times Herald
 A year long study looking at opportunities for development in southwestern Indiana was unveiled in French Lick. The study completed a regional economic development strategy aimed at fostering new growth and capitalizing on existing assets in the region. Since the $650,000 grant was awarded hundreds of meetings, interviews and focus groups have taken place at the direction of the planning initiative's steering committee.

The study focused on an 11 county area that included Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Martin, Lawrence, Monroe, Orange, Brown, Owen and Washington Counties. The end result was a 132-page report that is expected to produce a blueprint from growth and development in the region.

"I think the end result was very positive," said Ron Arnold with the Daviess County Economic Development Corporation. "A lot of work and hours went into this. They talked with a lot of local people and tied it in with some expert information."

The study calls for the area to look for ways to maximize some of existing assets including Indiana University, Crane, and I-69. "There were some things in the study related to the Tech Park at Crane that were new," said Arnold. "The I-69 corridor was also a high priority in the study."  More here.

UAW wins NLRB ruling at Alabama Daimler plant

Assistant News Editor
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that carmaker Daimler improperly prevented workers at an Alabama plant from discussing a union and other labor issues while at that facility. Bloomberg explained that an administrative judge had previously ruled the Mercedes Benz employee handbook was wrong to prohibit such interactions between shifts, and that the NLRB affirmed that decision.

That report added that the ruling is a victory for the United Auto Workers union, which has been making an effort to expand its membership to foreign carmakers' plants throughout the South, perhaps most notably at a Volkswagen facility in Tennessee, where workers voted against UAW representation in February.

In its report, Reuters said UAW leadership intends to follow up this ruling with a renewed push to have Daimler follow its own stated policy on organized labor outside the United States, which includes language that the company, "respects the right of collective bargaining," and, "acknowledges the human right to form trade unions." Reuters added that the Alabama plant is the only such Daimler facility that does not have employee representation. -- Bloomberg and Reuters

In Utah, Economic Development is a Team Sport

It's time to add a new "first" to EDCUtah's list of successes.

In addition to its record number of project wins, active projects, site visits and jobs created and retained, EDCUtah has also set a new membership record.

Kevin Bischoff, director of membership development, happily notes EDCUtah has more private and public sector members than ever before – 300 from the private sector and 60 from the public sector.

"That's significant, because membership growth is our future," he adds. "It is absolutely crucial to our success. EDCUtah's ability to operate is largely based on the partnerships it develops with its investors."

EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards emphasizes that economic development in Utah has always been a team sport.More here.

City: #HowToSantaFe marketing campaign reaches 5 million people

By Daniel J. Chacón
The New Mexican

The city’s #HowToSantaFe social media campaign didn’t #BreakTheInternet.

But city officials say it exceeded their expectations, reaching 4.9 million people worldwide and generating 52.3 million views, according to a report released Tuesday.

The campaign — rooted in the online photo- and video-sharing service Instagram and expanded through Facebook and Twitter, all of which have hundreds of millions of users — was more just than a hashtag, which is a word or phrase preceded with the “#” symbol.

It was an effort to market the city to a global audience, especially young professionals, whom Mayor Javier Gonzales and other city officials want to attract as Santa Fe’s population continues to grow older. More here.

'Regionalism in a real way' — New organization takes a different approach to economic development

Reporter- Louisville Business First

The first major development has emerged from Greater Louisville Inc.'s new multi-year Advantage Louisville growth plan.

James Reddish, vice president of economic and workforce development for GLI, the metro chamber of commerce, outlined plans this week for Advance Greater Louisville, a 15-county regional economic development organization that will leverage all of the Louisville area's assets to attract more businesses and jobs to the region.

The counties that are partnering with the initiative are Bullitt, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Meade, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott and Washington counties in Indiana.

Reddish said the organization is raising money from the private business communities in the counties to fund a collective marketing presence that would allow the organization to package the entire region's benefits for prospective businesses. The organization then would direct businesses to the counties that best meet their needs, he said. More here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. launches effort to lure companies

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Unlike more general advertising campaigns in previous years, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.'s new $1.6 million effort gets specific about why companies should relocate here.

The print and digital ads provide statistics around three themes, the forces WEDC says are driving the state's economy: workforce, taxes and infrastructure.

"These are three things I consistently hear about — 'will you nickel and dime us every time there's a budget crisis, what is my access to transportation and can I find the right people to work at my company." said Ryan Murray, the agency's deputy secretary and chief operating officer.

So for example, the first ads, which address Wisconsin's skilled workforce, tout the $150 million Gov. Scott Walker's administration says it has invested in worker training.  More here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why you should care about California's ban on commissions for site-selection consultants

Sacramento Business Journal
Is the Brown administration hurting California by banning commissions for consultants who help companies win tax credits? Some consultants themselves disagree on that question.

In August, the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
prohibited site-selection consultants from taking a percentage of the California Competes tax credit, a tax break given to businesses planning on locating or expanding in the state.

Some consultants say the move will hurt the state.

"It will make California less competitive, because companies that cannot afford to pay consultants are going to look to states where consultants can operate under those needs," said Tom Stringer, a site selection consultant for Ryan LLC, a Dallas-based firm.

Ryan sued GO-Biz shortly after the agency implemented the tax credit ban, alleging the prohibition violates the state of California constitution.

Some industry practitioners praise the governor for attempting to reverse a rising pay-to-play trend that creates a conflict of interest for consultants. Critics of the practice argue it creates an incentive for consultants to recommend that companies move to regions where they cannot thrive.

"Good for California," said Bruce Maus, owner of the Maus Group, a Minneapolis-based consultancy firm. Site-selection consultants have increasingly relied on tax-credit commissions when helping companies plan for relocation. That compensation structure motivates consultants to get the best deal for their own firm and not the client, he said. More here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

As Royals win, so does their hometown

Web Producer- Kansas City Business Journal
The Kansas City Royals' tenacious, underdog spirit has captivated the nation, and on Wednesday #TakeTheCrown was an official trend on Twitter. Although the Royals and their fans are riding high on the team's first World Series appearance in 29 years, Kansas City is claiming a victory of its own: free marketing.

“Every game is like a three-hour commercial for our community,” said Jeff Pinkerton, senior researcher at the Mid-America Regional Council.

As the camera pans across the roaring Royals fans or a shot of the downtown skyline flashes across the TV after a commercial break, it gives viewers a sense of the region.

“They may be intrigued to visit or invest down the road,” he said. “It’s certainly a positive.” More here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Global Carmakers Want India to Reform to Attract Industry

From Industry Week

NEW DELHI -- India must urgently improve its infrastructure and reform its tax, land acquisition and labor laws if it is to fulfil its ambition of becoming a leading international automotive manufacturing hub, global carmakers said on Friday.

New prime minister Narendra Modi invited investors last month to "Come, make in India" as part of a drive to create manufacturing jobs for a ballooning young population.

But automobile executives warned at the annual meeting of the country's biggest vehicle industry group that India must create a better business climate swiftly or risk losing out to emerging market rivals like China.

"India has an opportunity to build a globally competitive (automotive) industry," but to realize its full potential, the sector needs "a clear roadmap", GM International president Stefan Jacoby said.

The country needs to streamline taxes that vary state-to-state, ease rigid hire-and-fire laws and set internationally harmonized fuel-emission, safety and other norms, speakers told the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). More here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dan Gilbert pitches Detroit to Silicon Valley

By Dustin Block |

DETROIT, MI - Dan Gilbert is taking his pitch for Detroit has a tech startup city to Silicon Valley.

The billionaire owner of Quicken Loans and dozens of buildings in downtown Detroit made the case for the Motor City at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco this week.

"Detroit right now is Detroit 1914, almost," Gilbert said. "It's an extremely exciting place There is all kinds of action downtown with hundreds of technology companies and now venture capital has come in."

"It's hard to imagine if you haven't been here," Gilbert added. "I always tell people I'd rather not talk about it because whatever I say doesn't do it justice because the perception is so different from what you see on the ground there."

Gilbert tailored his pitch to the San Francisco crowd noting Detroit offers a "gold rush" of talent from the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State, affordable office space, and a Midwestern work ethic that seems cliche, but is true.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

4 reasons Tesla’s Gigafactory went to Nevada instead of California

Economic Development Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal
The interstate horse race for Tesla Motors Inc.’s $5 billion cleantech battery Gigafactory has come to a close with news of a deal involving a record $1.25 billion incentive deal in Nevada, dashing the hopes of business advocates in the electric car company's home state of California.

The choice of low-tax, uber-business-friendly Nevada isn't exactly surprising given cost considerations.

However, the competition for the Tesla manufacturing project expected to generate 6,500 jobs is symptomatic of much deeper economic rivalries between California and its competitors.

Nevada has been angling to poach business from California for years, from public-private organizations convened to hype the state’s zero income tax to incentive programs encouraging tech startups to set up shop in Las Vegas. And then there's the usual mockery of the Golden State's development red tape.More here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Michigan economic development group used 'secret shopper' and fake company to evaluate Michigan

By Stephen Kloosterman

MUSKEGON, MI – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation used a professional site selector and a fake business for a "secret shopper" survey of Michigan cities this summer.

"In an effort to continuously improve service to our business clients, we engaged in a secret siting activity to objectively look at how well we navigate and respond to inquiries from clients looking to locate in Michigan," MEDC CEO Michael Finney said in a written statement Thursday, Aug. 28.

The secret shopper operation started with a formal request for information from local communities, Finney said. All of the communities involved provided responses to the request in early July. Later, there were mock site visits at Muskegon, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo locations, he said. More here.

California vs. Texas in fight to attract and retain businesses

When California rolled out a $750-million plan this year to attract and retain businesses, many aspects mirrored longtime perks used by Texas — where officials love nothing more than stealing jobs from the Golden State.

For more than a decade, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has touted the "deal-closing" Texas Enterprise Fund and other cash incentives as a "job-creation machine." A fifth of the companies that Texas attracted during the last funding cycle, in 2011 and 2012, were based in California.

Now California is firing back. In the state's first tax credit awards in June, more than 40% of the $29-million package went to companies that have gotten similar offers from Texas: Samsung, Petco and Amazon.
But as California embarks on a major effort to woo businesses, a decade's worth of experience in Texas raises questions about the wisdom of buying jobs from corporations with taxpayer dollars. More here.

What Cities Can Teach Marketers About Marketing

This article is by Andy Levine, president and chief creative officer at Development Counsellors International.

If you are like most consumer marketing professionals, you probably vie with three to six direct competitors on a regular basis.

But what if you had more than 30,000 competitors? That’s the number of cities and towns in the U.S. alone that are competing every day to win new corporate investment, attract both group and leisure travelers, and draw new residents to their community. Yes, it’s a tough battle.

While it may seem counterintuitive, I decided to ask the following question: What can consumer marketers learn from the people who successfully market their communities?  Put another way, what can “smart cities” and the men and women who promote them teach the private sector about marketing? As I pondered the question, six key learnings emerged: More here.

N.C. legislators vote against $20M economic development 'closing fund

Staff Triad Business Journal

Legislation that would have created a fund for the N.C. Department of Commerce to dole out $20 million in up-front cash incentives was voted down by the legislature Tuesday, according to several media outlets.

The measure, which bundled together with other provisions, including a controversial sales tax-capping regulation, failed Tuesday by a vote of 47 to 54.

The incentives would have been used to lure jobs or keep existing ones from being cut.

While proponents of the measure said it could help seal the deal for some economic development projects currently in the pipeline, critics said it was not clear how such incentives would ultimately be used.

The bill would have also expanded two other incentive programs. More here.

Megasite ‘coopetition’ rare in economic development

PANAMA CITY — In the competitive world of economic development, cooperation between states is rare.

But “coopetition” is the driving force behind the Tri-State Megasite Alliance, a 10-county effort in North
Florida and South Alabama to lure a major economic development project to Campbellton, a small town in northern Jackson County.

“For the other counties to say ‘we support this site in one county’ is really a show of what we call coopetition,” said Neal Wade, Bay County Economic Development Alliance director and project co-chair.

“It allows both states to go after an automotive project for less than if you went after it by yourself.”
Now two years into the project, the alliance has identified a 2,200-acre site near U.S. 231 in Campbellton with the right ingredients to house an auto manufacturing plant, the targeted industry for the space. More here.

County report says economic efforts 'not working'

Economic development strategies and approaches by Butte-Silver Bow and its partners are not working and dramatic changes are needed to get any real improvements, according a report from Chief Executive Matt Vincent and a group of commissioners.

The report recommends, among other things, that local government “critically reconsider” its contractual ties to the Butte Local Development Corp., the county’s designated lead organization for economic development.
BLDC Executive Director Jim Smitham said the findings are a “surprise” to him and he hopes the group and the county will maintain connections.

But, he said, “If they opt not to go that direction, we’ll still be operating and functioning.” More here.

Craven formally withdraws from economic development group

Craven County pulled out of North Carolina’s Eastern Region economic development group in January and has already deposited its $1.5 million refund.

Craven County member Mark Griffin of Dover delivered the county’s message to the group based in Kinston almost six months before the state ended by statute the NC Eastern Region for all 13 member counties. The law ended state financing of all seven N.C. regional economic development groups that were established in 1993.

But a public-private regional offshoot called NCEast Alliance seeking to replace it continues to list Craven County as a participant.

This week, Craven County Economic Development Director Timothy Downs requested that the Craven County Board of Commissioners act to formally withdraw from the Alliance with a resolution, which also asks for the rest of its money back.

Downs said that will be 10.9 percent of the total money remaining; Craven’s check is expected to be about $198,000.

Commissioners acted unanimously Monday night to make it undeniably clear that the county does not plan to join the Alliance now. More here.

Daugaard, business leaders pump up S.D. at N.Y. summit

South Dakota’s governor and economic development leaders are leading a campaign to encourage national companies to relocate to Sioux Falls.

The delegation is in New York City this week to promote the state’s largest city to financial writers in the hopes of attracting development, said Sioux Falls Development Foundation president Slater Barr.

“The real reason behind these types of visits is we recognize a disparity between the reality of crunching the numbers and the perspective of executives as to the viability of Sioux Falls and South Dakota as an attractive business location,” Barr said of efforts to attract new business. More here.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Fight! Fight! Florida and New York are talking trash over business recruitment

Dara Kam and Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida

Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is telling media in New York that the Empire State's "Start-Up NY" — a marketing campaign to coax businesses to new tax-free zones — should prominently feature positive aspects of Florida.

Atwater began making the pitch because New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo apparently had the audacity to cast the net for new business into Florida; a state that has made poaching companies from other areas part of its economic-recovery blueprint.

"These advertisements portray an image of New York that simply cannot be supported by facts, particularly in comparison with Florida," Atwater wrote in a letter to Cuomo. More here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Georgia Department of Economic Development to Lead Trade Mission to China

Newswise — The Georgia Department of Economic Development is leading a trade mission to Qingdao, Beijing and Shanghai China July 10 – 17. The delegation includes state of Georgia officials and business leaders who will explore business, trade, education, agriculture, and tourism opportunities.

“China is a critically important market for our state, and Georgia’s second-largest export market,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “This mission is an opportunity to increase investment opportunities by showcasing some of Georgia’s great assets including agriculture, education, trade and tourism.”

The mission is anchored around the 2014 Qingdao International Horticultural Exposition. Georgia was the only U.S. state invited to showcase a garden at the exposition featuring 35 separate garden exhibits with dozens of countries and regions participating. A dedicated group of students from the University of Georgia designed the garden featuring flowers and plants native to Georgia to reflect the unique character of the state. More here.

Florida’s Great Northwest recruiting jobs at Farnborough

NICEVILLE — A five-member delegation from Northwest Florida is leaving for London later this week on a mission to bring aviation jobs to the region.

The group of economic development professionals will attend the Farnborough Air Show where hundreds of aviation companies will be meeting to buy, sell and demonstrate the latest in airplanes, helicopters and other aviation products and services.

Headed up by Florida’s Great Northwest, the region’s economic development marketing organization, the group has set up appointments over the four-day event with leading global aerospace companies.

“We will be meeting with the decision makers of aerospace OEMs and major suppliers to discuss why we believe they can be successful in Northwest Florida,” said Larry Sassano, president of Florida’s Great Northwest. “Aviation companies are one of our top targets and there is no better place than Farnborough to have a captive audience with this many companies.” More here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LEDC focused on attracting new business

By Stacy Burt

With great incentive packages, a strong workforce and room to build and expand, Liberty stands out as a unique community in the metro area for attracting businesses, according to Rick McDowell, executive director of the Liberty Economic Development Corp.

McDowell addressed members of the Liberty Area Chamber of Commerce during a lunch meeting June 24 at Belvoir Winery, providing a portrait of how the city looks on current and anticipated growth.

McDowell is charged with identifying businesses that are starting from the ground up and those interested in relocating, and persuading them to consider doing business in Liberty.

“We have been on a pretty good roll, with Ford, LMV and RockTenn,” said McDowell. “The various things we’ve had happen here, I just want that to continue.” More here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Charlotte recruiting expert: 'Texas has to buy jobs'

Senior Staff Writer- Charlotte Business Journal
Don’t mess with Texas? Charlotte consultant Michael Gallis begs to differ.

The urban planning, transportation and trade expert told me during a recent interview that he disagrees with the perception of the Lone Star State as one of the most attractive for business. Annual rankings by national magazines and others who follow corporate recruiting often put Texas (and North Carolina, for that matter) near the top. During the conversation, I asked about developing more highly skilled workers in Charlotte and North Carolina and about the prospects for adding better jobs.

Those topics led Gallis to a comparison between business-climate darling Texas and California, considered a pariah by many because of its tax rates and regulatory environment. CNBC recently ranked California the 32nd-best state for business, to cite one of many examples.

“Texas calls itself the most successful state at creating jobs,” Gallis told me. “What Texas does is they have more money to buy jobs. They should really say Texas has bought more jobs that they call ‘economic development.’ If I buy a job with tax incentives or other incentives, can you really call that economic development or do you just say, ‘We have more money, we bought more jobs than anyone else.’ OK, that’s more of a real statement.” More here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tech to keep powering San Francisco's job machine

Reporter- San Francisco Business Times
Of all the demand for new office space in San Francisco, 80 to 85 percent is coming from technology companies, according to researchers.

That reflects the dramatic pace at which technology companies have been adding jobs, with employment in the sector up about 17 percent last year compared with an overall employment increase of 4.6 percent.

And the pace of hiring in tech isn't expected to slow, according to a new survey of chief information officers at 100 technology companies in the Bay Area done by Robert Half Technology, the staffing firm.
“It’s going to continue, and it’s going to be more and more difficult to hire very skilled IT professionals because at this point you’re hiring them away from your competitors,” said Dakin Gunn, Robert Half’s director of permanent placement services in San Francisco. More here.

6 states that want to steal California jobs

Intern- San Francisco Business Times
With an economy that rivals some nations, it comes as no surprise California and its jobs spark envy in other states. More than a few have made it plain they want to pick off companies that power the Golden State's massive economic engine.

California has been churning out jobs, thanks to Twitter, Salesforce and Dropbox, but there have been some high-profile exits. Union Bank's parent company announced in May it was leaving San Francisco for New York. It joins Bank of America and Transamerica as companies that no longer call California home. Toyota recently moved its North American headquarters to Texas.

Meanwhile, politicians like Texas Gov. Rick Perry make no secret of their plans to woo California companies. Charles Schwab has said it will move 1,000 jobs out of San Francisco to places like Colorado and Texas over the next three to five years.

Should we be worried? State authorities don't appear terribly concerned. More here.

GE incentive deal among richest in Cincinnati history

Staff reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier
In an incentive deal that could be the richest in Cincinnati history, General Electric will receive 85 percent of the city income taxes its employees pay for the next 15 years in order to locate its U.S. global operations center and its $142 million annual payroll at the Banks downtown, according to those familiar with the agreement.

The Cincinnati City Council and the Hamilton County Commission are expected to be asked to vote on the deal at a special joint meeting at 10 a.m. Monday at Great American Ball Park. The total monetary value was unclear.

The deal calls for:
  • A 100 percent property tax abatement for developer Carter and Dawson Co. for the office building it will build to house the expected 1,800 jobs.
  • A 15-year lease on the 10-story, 340,000 square foot, $90 million, LEED-certified building. The lease will have five, five-year renewal options.
  • 1,500 discounted parking spaces at the Banks for GE employees.
GE must stay in the city for the next 18 years.

Other than major bragging rights, the deal is not expected to give the city an immediate, major tax boost. But the combination of the 18-year length of the agreement plus the renewal clause in the lease will keep the multinational giant downtown for at least 20 years. More here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cities along state Route 78 corridor chip in $23,000 each for regional marketing

REGION — Cities along the state Route 78 corridor are banking on regional marketing to attract more businesses to North County.

Oceanside approved $23,000 for annual regional marketing on June 25.

The cities of Carlsbad, Vista, and Escondido have also approved funds, and San Marcos will OK funds in July.

Once San Marcos is officially on board, a regional logo and campaign will be launched to attract out of area businesses.

Cities will continue their own marketing, but regional efforts will highlight the collective resources cities share. This includes regional workers, colleges and universities, and housing.

Another big plus North County has to offer to businesses is available land for development, and empty buildings to set up shop.

“More businesses within San Diego County are looking for an alternative,” Steve Jepsen, Oceanside city manager, said. “We want them to be aware of the assets North County has to offer.” More here.

Site selection specialists see advantages to CEO-led economic group

Staff Writer- Sacramento Business Journal

News last week that private-sector leaders are quietly developing a CEO-led economic development group suggests Sacramento is following a national trend, two site-selection specialists said Monday.

CEOs can add credibility to a business recruitment pitch, but in some cases also may have a commercial interest in concealing important information, said John Boyd, founder of The Boyd Co., a Princeton, N.J-based site selection firm.

About 70 percent of business-location decisions are driven by data in areas like tax structure and cost of living – in other words, factors outside a CEO's control, said King White, a Dallas-based site selection consultant.

But the other 30 percent is salesmanship, he said. And there they can make a difference. More here.

Wayne Economic Development Council continuing positive momentum

By BOBBY WARREN Staff Writer Published:

WOOSTER -- The success of the Wayne Economic Development Council did not come by accident, but by establishing a vision, following a strategic plan, making tough decisions, engaging the public and private sectors and doing the work.

To keep the momentum moving in a positive direction, the organization embarked on a third Growing a Quality Future Campaign with the aim of raising $2.3 million to tackle five strategic areas:

Growth through existing businesses; attracting new companies; connect business leaders with one another; promote work force development and address infrastructure needs; and continue to provide economic development services at a high level through its public and private partnerships.

Rod Crider, WEDC president, unveiled the public phase of this third campaign Tuesday at the Shisler Center on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Resource and Development Center. The success of the organization has led to more investment in the county and more opportunities for jobs.

For the past eight years, Wooster/Wayne County micropolitan has been ranked among the Top 6 in the United States by Site Selection magazine based on the number and value of qualifying economic development projects. More here.

City marketing plan enters phase II

by Laura Freeman | Reporter

Hudson -- A city should be in the front of someone's mind when the president or owner of a company is looking for a place to locate a new business, according to the city of Hudson's marketing plan.
Economic Development Director Chuck Wiedie said the second phase of the marketing strategy plan will be ongoing and requires repetition of the "Business Welcome" message by the city to businesses to create a presence.

With phase 1 of the marketing strategy completed, phase II was unveiled to Council June 10 by Wiedie, Communications Manager Jody Roberts and George Snider of the economic growth board.

Part of the strategy is to use a variety of methods such as articles, direct mail, emails, visits, hosting group events and attending events to present the message "Business Welcome. Workforce Ready." about Hudson to potential businesses.

Mayor William Currin said all residents are ambassadors of Hudson to visitors and should encourage businesses to locate in Hudson.

The city hired Denver-based Atlas Advertising in October 2012 for a three-year contract for $254,000 to develop a marketing plan to attract businesses. More here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pittsburgh’s Path to Recovery

Ask the average American what they feel Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, represents and you’ll likely hear Steelers football, blue-collar, middle-class workers, steel mills and coal plants.

If anything, Pittsburgh is considered the quintessential rust-belt city — historically focused on manufacturing and industry, but one that has fallen on hard times since the 1980s. Back then, strong foreign competition shuttered plants.

Counter to this image though, Pittsburgh is remaking itself by leveraging its regional strengths in education and health care and making strategic investments in innovation capacity.

Pittsburgh is now one of America’s leading centers of regional innovation and a model of state innovation policymaking. More here.

A Tug-of-War of Tax Breaks Tightens Across the Hudson

Late last fall, bankers from BNY Mellon went to state officials in New York and New Jersey with a proposition: The bank was planning to sell its headquarters on Wall Street and was looking for office space on either side of the Hudson River for more than 1,100 employees.

The bankers wanted to know who would cut the best deal.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration responded quickly with a hefty offer — nearly $100 million worth of tax credits — if the bank would move one mile west to Jersey City.

New York countered with its own incentive package that real estate executives say is worth millions of dollars if the bank remains in Lower Manhattan.

The bank is leaning toward New York, real estate executives say, but no victor has been announced and officials on both sides of the Hudson refused to discuss the high-stakes negotiations.

The tug-of-war is the latest skirmish in what is becoming a fierce competition between New York and New Jersey to heap subsidies on some of the country’s wealthiest corporations as enticements. With a struggling labor market, jobs are precious to both states, but in New Jersey there is also a political factor: Mr. Christie is widely presumed to be a contender for the Republican presidential nomination and has promoted himself nationally as a prudent financial steward. More here.

Nevada, Texas square off for Tesla battery plant

Jason Hidalgo and Anjeanette Damon, Reno Gazette Journal 

The battle for electric car maker Tesla Motors' multibillion-dollar battery plant is supposed to be a four-way race.

Some site selection experts, however, believe the fight for the Gigafactory likely boils down to one heavyweight and a plucky upstart.

In one corner is San Antonio, a city located in a big state with equally big pockets to invest in economic development.

In the other corner is Reno, which has less than a fifth of San Antonio's population and even fewer resources when it comes to ponying up financial incentives.

"A case can be made for both Arizona and New Mexico … and you have to give them credit," said John Boyd, a principal of Princeton, N.J.-based site selection firm The Boyd Company. "But the two leading contenders are Reno and San Antonio." More here.