Author archive: csmith

Day 120:  When should economic development be public?  A couple of weeks ago a judge in Nebraska ruled that all of the records including emails and financial information should be available to the public when public dollars are used.  Now I know in my home state of Iowa the rules are written that when a…

Day 119:  Are you a trusted partner?  Today I went to a state sponsored session about existing business.  There was a panel made up of some local economic developers and one company.  The company spoke about a recent expansion that they had gone through.  While he was speaking he talked about always looking for trusted…

Day 118:  Why shovel ready sites?  In the past ten years the concept of certified sites has picked up steam.  Several states have certified site programs.  Some of these programs are massive while other states just require minimum data.  I guess it doesn’t matter much how detailed the program is in my mind.  Since we…

Day 117:  When do you know you need to move on?  Being a chamber or economic development exec is a rewarding career.  Sometimes it is hard to explain to the average citizen or ten year old what we do.  But when you have been around a community for a few years it is rewarding to…

Day 116:  Trick or Treat.  Obviously this post is being written on Halloween.  What’s Halloween have to do with economic development?  Nothing.  I am trying to be clever.  But, maybe there is a correlation.  Let’s say your house is a community.  Let’s say a business looking for a location is a “beggar”.  Let’s call the…

Day 115:  How does my community stand out?  I’m going to throw out some numbers that are pure assumptions on my part.  I did no research to back them up.  (Too much to do this week)  But let’s say there are 600,000 cities, towns, etc in the world.  I think there are about 27,000 places…

Day 114:  Have you talked to your local businesses lately?  Obviously by the number of posts I write about this topic I feel it is very important.  So, while this post may not have anything earth shattering to share, I hope it is a reminder to contact your businesses NOW!  As you know your success…

Day 113:  Public or Private?  Whether a state economic development should be public or private seems to be a hot topic in our profession right now.  Ed Burghard wrote in one of his posts about the recent privatization of the North Carolina Economic Development Department.  http://strengtheningbrandamerica.com/blog/2013/09/is-privatizing-economic-development-in-nc-a-smart-move/  I also ran across a report from Good Jobs…

Day 112: How do I raise more money?  On Day 13 I discussed this topic.  We suggest you hire a firm to raise the money for you.  Convergent Non Profit Solutions does a great job.  But let’s say you have hired them and they have raised the money.  Will this be the only time you…

Day 111: How’s your money holding up?  Smart Solutions Group spends a lot of time with smaller economic development organizations.  They tend to not have very much money to spend beyond what they pay the staff.  Does this sound like your organization?  I am perplexed why organizations accept the problem of not enough money as…

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