Friday, August 28, 2009

Econ development efforts from across the country...

I just figured it was that time again for one of these posts. Funny what a quick Google search will reveal whenever I get the whim.

Before I go on, it is my understanding that on the next Kingman City Council agenda there will be some discussion about local economic development plans. Maybe that discussion will end up on a future Google search so that I can include it here at MOCO.

Let's begin...

Part of plan focuses on economic development
By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

Published: August 23, 2009 11:35 pm

Greenbrier County’s proposed updated comprehensive plan is an ambitious document, outlining much more than the land use guidelines that comprise the bulk of its predecessors.

A major section of the plan focuses on economic development issues, ranging from business support services to infrastructure such as public water and sewer.

I'm sure if I tried hard enough I could crack some joke about General Plans, but I won't do that at this time. However, economic development plans trump General Plans every day of the week and twice on Thursday's.

I found these next parts the most interesting from this article...

Ellard does support at least one of the economic development strategies touted in the plan — establishing a business incubator in the industrial park at Greenbrier Valley Airport in Maxwelton.

Business incubator you say?? Tell me more.

Incubators are generally run by nonprofit organizations in partnership with local institutions of higher education.

A report issued by the Appalachian Regional Commission found that “Appalachian business incubators ... have proven successful at helping communities start and grow their own businesses.”

According to that report, over the years some 1,300 businesses and 24,500 new jobs have sprung from 85 incubators.

That is called production.

Might not be a bad idea to check these business incubators out a bit. And while this area doesn't seem to have a business incubator, there are other options...

While it doesn’t have an incubator, the GVEDC encourages entrepreneurs to invest in the tri-county area (Greenbrier, Monroe and Pocahontas) through a revolving low-interest loan program.

“It all started with $300,000 in grant money we secured,” Ellard stated. “We charge (loan recipients) 1 to 2 percent over prime, and all of the loans are for less than $50,000.”

Among the loan recipients are a water business in Monroe County that now has a national contract with Kroger, a small factory in Greenbrier County that Ellard says has the potential to eventually employ up to 1,000 people and another small factory in Peterstown that has grown to employ 50 and has a contract with home improvement giant Lowe’s to supply manmade rock.

Wow... a small loan made to a local company could net a return of perhaps a 1,000 jobs. Given the fact that it is a water related business is just delicious irony. Imagine... creating opportunity on rocks and water. I love it.

Household-name company would be big boost
Monday, August 24, 2009

If state lawmakers and top economic development officials can pull it off, the ailing South Carolina economy could soon get a much-needed business boost.

Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, said a new business venture being pursued "would be one of the port's largest customers from day one" and, statewide, "larger than the economic benefits we receive from BMW."

Grooms said the company, which he called a household name, would bring warehousing, distribution centers and light manufacturing to the emerging industrial real estate hub, which is expected to generate 17,500 jobs for the state within the next 15 years.

This company, he said, could become the anchor tenant to kick-start that build-out.

"It's a matter of getting them built and getting our first anchor tenant," Grooms said.

The stuff I emphasized above... kinda sounds familiar to some degree.

And see below...

The face behind Project Neptune, while contributing fewer than 200 jobs, could serve as the push to bring other businesses to the area.


Talking locally about the biofuel and solar plants... I've seen some folks say that the reports of job numbers are low and local folks couldn't even qualify (which is a rather low class jackass blanket statement to make) to work at the proposed plants. My beef is the attitude that "the plant would only create 20 jobs" as in that is the only labor impact that would ever be felt.

Like the above statement that I emphasized... the prospect of 'some' jobs will likely lead to other opportunity for 'more' jobs. It is a constant theme I see in all of my economic development posts that I share on MOCO. If that notion is believed elsewhere, why isn't it believed here??

Dang... I guess that I wish I was more 'enlightened' like the water worry warts and the rest of the anti-growth movement around these here parts.


Stay with me on this next one, plenty of good stuff...

City and Cornerstone: partners for economic development
by Max Marbut
Staff Writer

It’s never about anything but a team approach. We harness all the energy and positive aspects of our private sector and consolidated government. It’s what allows us to compete and win.”

That’s how Jacksonville Economic Development Commission Executive Director Ron Barton described the system that was created more than 12 years ago to streamline and strengthen the City’s economic development strategy. The idea was to consolidate about a dozen different City departments and programs into a single entity with a well-defined mission: to join forces with the business community and achieve results that would be unattainable without a coordinated effort.

The JEDC’s mandated responsibilities include Downtown development and redevelopment, the promotion of Jacksonville’s sports and entertainment and film and television production economies and the development of the 6,000-acre Cecil Commerce Center.

Sounds an awful lot like a public-private partnership to me.

Jerry Mallot, president of Cornerstone, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, said of the public-private partnership: “What makes it work so well is the defined roles and relationship. We complement each other well. We do the marketing and research and find the deals then JEDC puts the deal together that works for the client.”

Yep... PPP... works well everywhere other than in Kingman apparently. I pray for the day of 'enlightenment' to visit me so I might know why exactly.

The part of the JEDC’s mission that makes most of the headlines involves what Barton called “business recruitment incentive negotiation.” That process involves using tax credit programs approved by the State Legislature to attract companies that are starting up or expanding and convincing them to set up shop at a Jacksonville address. A common incentive is only used to close agreements with what’s designated as a “Qualified Target Industry” (QTI). The biggest requirement for QTI status is the company must promise to create jobs that pay more than the state average salary, an economic advantage that improves Jacksonville’s per capita income. That usually also means capital investment on the company’s part, another source of municipal revenue. Jacksonville provides only 20 percent of the tax credit with the state picking up the balance and incentives are credits for verified performance as opposed to advance payments or credits.

Because of my lack of 'enlightenment' I'm also having a hard time grasping why it is that tax incentives work to attract business opportunity and jobs work pretty much everywhere other than in the Kingman area. Perhaps someone more 'enlightened' will be nice enough to explain why in the comments.

The programs JEDC does with Cornerstone pay for themselves with economic development. We generate more ad valorem tax revenue than we use in incentives,” said Barton. “All of our programs are tax credits which could be described as discounts on taxes. By definition that’s new money so we’re creating more wealth. The projects we do also create jobs with disposable income. That creates consumers which in turn supports small businesses.”

In terms of the philosophy of using tax incentives to lure new business to Jacksonville, both economic development executives said it comes with the territory.

Oh, it comes with the territory... unless you live in the Kingman area territory. But the story for everywhere else is consistent and similar. Generation of more tax revenue than the cost of the tax incentive... new money is attracted to the area which in turns creates more wealth (and further tax revenues)... job creation (self explanatory)... and therefore new consumers are created which offers local small businesses with more opportunity (and again, more tax revenues).

But again... I am not 'enlightened' so don't just take my word for it.

“Make no mistake, Jacksonville competes every day with other cities in other states. Incentives are part of the game,” said Barton.

“The programs were put in place because we have to be able to compete. It would be great if no states offered tax incentives but that’s not the way it is,” added Mallot. “The State’s tax incentives level the playing field and allow us to be in the game. The projects we’ve been able to do have produced a significant dividend in terms of jobs and capital investment. Developing that tax base has been a terrific boost for the City’s revenues.”

Isn't that terrific??

Remaining competitive while the economy pulls out of the recent recession is also part of the JEDC’s and Cornerstone’s combined mission, said Barton.

In an economic crisis, the strategy shouldn’t be to get out of the economic development business. We think the strategy should be to redouble our efforts and stay in the winning mode,” he said.

Money quote right there.

This next one will zip right by...

Region XII receives grant for economic development planning

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:01 PM CDT

Region XII Council of Governments in Carroll will receive a $64,840 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

The grant will be used to help establish an economic development planning framework, process and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation in the region, which is comprised of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie and Sac counties.

The Economic Development Administration serves as a venture capital resource to meet the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States through the promotion of innovation and competitiveness and preparing regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Can anyone get these EDA folks a bus ticket to Kingman??

Okay, last one for now. A little story about a newly hired economic developer (in some other location not as 'enlightened' as Kingman)...

Williams named as Economic Development Director

Aug 26, 2009 - 13:18:42 CDT

The city of Farmington is primed and ready for renewed growth in the areas of manufacturing and retail, and all indications are there will be a amply-qualified captain at the helm.

The official announcement came this week as to the hiring of a new economic development director. Walter D. Williams will begin his new duties Sept. 1. The lifetime business leader comes to Farmington from Cleveland, Ohio.

Well compared to Farmington (Iowa), at least Kingman is primed. And I'm pretty sure we are ready. Now all we have to do is get our elected leaders to move towards being able. Support the leaders that will make it so.

The new economic development director will provide business development services to privately-owned businesses considering expansion or other investments in Farmington, as well as work to attract new businesses from outside the area. His office will be in the new Farmington Regional Airport terminal building in the industrial park. The building was designed with an economic development director office in place — putting him in close proximity to both the regional airport and industrial park.

In other words... this gentleman was not hired to hide in a shell I take it.

As for his new duties with Farmington, which begin Sept. 1, Williams made it clear that he will be working to further the initiatives of the mayor, council and administration.

“It’s not my vision,” Williams said, further explaining that he will take the goals of the city leadership and work to make them a reality. “I just have certain skills that will be useful going from Point A to Point B.”

And that is just it... what are the initiatives of the Mayor, Council, and administration here in Kingman?? I mean, I think I know as I've heard the very sort of promising things said in recent times by the Mayor, a few council members, and I always assume that the city administration is open to the idea of growth and expansion. Now let's see some action. This community is ready to support the action. No doubt about it. Support will be there for those leaders that offer action.

“The leadership is phenomenal,” Williams added. “They have pride in what they do and their approach. I want to continue that. (From what I’ve seen) you have everyone reading from the same page. When everyone sings from the same sheet music it makes it that much easier.”

The economic professional said some of the positive things about Farmington’s potential for growth are the availability of land on which to locate new industry and businesses, the close proximity to an interstate, and the infrastructure already in place to accompany development.

Some key words emphasized. I've seen them before and actually right here in Kingman.

I’d just like to be part of that growth,” he adds.

Reading stuff like this makes me a believer that 'growth' is a good word when we are talking about the community and economic development. Now I realize that still may leave me less than 'enlightened'... but I'll take my chances.

Until next time I get the whim to search some economic activity.

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