Saturday, February 08, 2014

St. Pete hires firm to recruit more high-paying jobs

ST. PETERSBURG — This city recently garnered attention from The New York Times and others lauding it as a tourist destination.

Now, city leaders want to put St. Petersburg on the radar of CEOs across the United States.

St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
officials are in negotiations with Market Street, an economic planning firm whose clients include Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C., to develop a plan for the city to persuade companies to bring more high-paying jobs to St. Petersburg.

City Council members today unanimously approved spending $30,000 on the initiative, with the chamber pitching in the remainder for the $130,000 study. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

The move comes after city council members expressed frustration with the city’s inability to compete for new businesses outside of the Bay area. When businesses do come knocking, city officials are too slow to close the deal, they also said. More here.

'Brand' new day for Jersey City? Mayor offering $1.2M for firm to market city

  By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

When he was running for mayor last year, Steve Fulop often told voters he wanted to make Jersey City the "best mid-size city in America."

Since his election, Fulop has been touting Jersey City in a string of media appearances, including a cameo on TLC's "Cake Boss.” But now he's offering up as much as $1.2 million for a marketing firm to put Jersey City on the map.

The mayor announced last week that the city and the Jersey City Economic Development Corp. are seeking a firm to develop a brand for Jersey City and market it as a "premier travel destination" for work and play.  More here.

Canadian economic developers irked by St. Lawrence County IDA marketing


A marketing effort by the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to attract Ontario businesses that plays on the province’s increasing power costs has caused some waves north of the border.

“We have some ethics in our profession where we don’t go after companies directly,” said David C. Paul, the economic development director for Brockville, Ontario. “This was more of an aggressive approach.”

The IDA recently started a campaign to attract Ontario businesses using the availability of low-cost energy through the New York Power Authority’s Preservation Power Program and St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency. An IDA brochure also notes research and collaboration with colleges, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Start-Up NY initiative to create tax-free zones, the county’s labor force, buildings and greenfield industrial sites available for use, the foreign trade zone through the Ogdensburg Commerce Park, an advanced telecommunications network, and the geographic advantage of being in close proximity to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Mr. Paul said he thought the IDA’s effort amounted to poaching because of the reaction of several companies contacted by the IDA.  More here.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

How should Venice market itself?

Although long considered a tourist destination, the city of Venice lacks its own distinctive strategy for reeling in visitors.

It needs a "brand," some business leaders say.

That "brand" could be a short, memorable slogan that defines Venice's uniqueness in the way "Music City" does for Nashville or "the Nation's Oldest City" does for St. Augustine.

The brand could also be associated with a catchy "tagline," such as Las Vegas' often-quoted "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Visit Sarasota, a tax-supported agency that promotes Sarasota County, includes Venice in its marketing efforts. Yet the city is just one of eight sectors of the county that the agency includes in its countywide strategy.  More here.

Brand yourself as an agricultural town, firm tells Arundel

ARUNDEL — Members of Arundel's Economic Development Committee presented the final report from a recent marketing survey to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, Jan. 27. The Chesapeake Group was hired by Arundel to perform a marketing and branding survey in an effort to boost economic growth and development in the town.

“Now we need to decide what ideas we implement. What we like and what we don't. Are we happy with it and do we want to continue with the branding,” said Ira Camp of the EDC.
The EDC does not feel like a logo and branding should happen without input from the board and from the community.

“We want input from the Board of Selectmen and the community so we can put an economic development plan together. That's the next step,” said Linda Zuke of the EDC.

Findings from The Chesapeake Group revealed that Arundel is an agricultural town with several access points for tourists. Arundel is within close proximity to Route 1 and Interstate 95 as well as the Sanford and the Biddeford airports. Although The Chesapeake Group recommended that Arundel focus on agricultural tourism to gain economic growth, members of the EDC are not as eager.

“I am not sure we want to brand ourselves as only an agricultural town,” said John Bell of the EDC. “We need to look at what the real practical things that we are going to develop on for economic growth. I am not sure agriculture is going to do that.” More here.

State Unveils Economic Development Plan

Ted M. Natt Jr., staff writer

State officials are touting a new jobs plan as a 10-year road map for North Carolina’s economic development efforts.

Pat Corso, who served on the board that came up with the plan, said he just hopes rural counties are not lost in the shuffle as the state moves the job recruiting and marketing functions of the state Department of Commerce into a new private economic development agency called the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“Most of the stuff in this plan is 30,000-foot stuff,” said Corso, executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress. “The meat has to be put on the bones. Fortunately, most of the key points are broad enough and engaging enough to be actionable.”

The plan was unveiled last month by Gov. Pat McCrory after six months of study by the N.C. Economic Development Board, and is the first of its kind in about a decade.

McCrory has called the plan a “very clear, upfront assessment of our state’s strengths and weaknesses.” More here.

NC Governor Wants Megasites Near Triad

By Richard M. Barron

GREENSBORO — Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday night that he is working with Greensboro leaders to create megasites in the region that might attract an automotive manufacturer.

“We’re going to be working ... to recruit automotive manufacturing to North Carolina, which is nonexistent,” McCrory told about 750 people gathered for the Greensboro Partnership’s annual dinner.

He said most other states in the Southeast have auto makers and it’s time that North Carolina recruited one.

But he stopped short of saying what North Carolina’s financial commitment might be to such an effort.

McCrory said in an interview that the best potential sites for automakers are in or near the Triad — one in Randolph County and another in Chatham County.  More here.