Economic Development InsightsThe Ady Advantage: Strategy Matters

 

U.S. Agencies Consider Redefining Manufacturing

“According to this Wall St. Journal article, the feds are considering redefining manufacturing to include “factoryless goods producers.” (Think Apple.)  So if you design it, procure it, oversee production, market it, and sell it, but you just don’t fabricate it, you’d be in. Is this good for economic developers (it captures an important segment of […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Bright Lights in State Economic Development

Last week, I listened to a discussion of what the State of Maine’s economic development entity was doing to be more responsive to businesses. Their due diligence in the field over the past three years meeting with hundreds of businesses is admirable. Perhaps it’s no surprise their leadership includes a 30-year ED veteran. As an […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: How to “pick your horses” when doing BRE

That is the tantalizing take-away of Inc. Magazine’s “Build 100” listing. Inc. commissioned economist-in-residence Gary Kunkle to study more than 100,000 U.S.-based midsize businesses (those with 85 – 999 employees). His goal was to identify those companies that have added head count for five consecutive years, from 2007-2012. Fewer than 1.5% of companies made the […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Agribusiness is an often Overlooked Growth Opportunity

During tough economic times, the agribusiness industry tends to be countercyclical – i.e., people still need to eat. During good economic times, guess what? People still need to eat. And it’s one of the few industries that is not very susceptible to imports.Agribusiness is one of those industries that chugs along in the background of […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: This Recovery Will Be Different

Have you heard the one about the company executive who says, “My company’s goal is not to create jobs: it’s to make money.” In the past, creating jobs was pretty highly correlated with making money, but this is less and less true each day in the United States.Consider these facts from a recent Wall St. […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Talent, Talent, Talent

If you could gather the country’s leading sustained-growth companies, and ask them three questions, what would they be? How about:What is your company’s greatest strengths?Where do your company’s most valuable and actionable ideas originate?What might derail your company’s growth or even threaten its survival?That’s exactly what the team at Inc. magazine did, through its initiative […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: BRE Should Be the Backbone of Most EDO Programs

How much of your jurisdiction’s net job gains and capital investment came from existing businesses? The chances are, the majority came from existing businesses. According to Eric Canada, chief strategist at Blane, Canada, Ltd. that number can vary tremendously by how rural your community is and by whether any “mega projects” have recently located in […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: BRE Is Often the Unsung Hero in Local Economic Development

For all the glamour and excitement of business recruitment (anybody interested in a Boeing 777x plant, promising billions in investment and thousands of good-paying jobs?), the reality is that most economic development successes come from a strong Business Retention and Expansion program.We’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of EDOs of all sizes, and […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Incentives

At nearly every site selector panel I can recall, somebody asks the question about incentives. How much is enough? Is a deal fund critical to winning a project?  We’ve all heard the saying that an incentive will make a good deal great, but it can’t make a bad deal good. Jim Renzas from RSH Group […]

Read more ...

AS I SEE IT: Leadership Matters

Every couple of months, somebody will ask me about how to bring about successful change in their EDO and in the region it serves.  Is it the strategic plan? Is it the level of stakeholder input that is received? Is it the amount of money the investors pledge?In my experience, all of those are outcomes […]

Read more ...