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1️⃣0️⃣ Economic Development and Developers in the News This Week

Econ dev news from 38 states and Canada. May 9th, 2021 weekly edition.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
15 min read
1️⃣0️⃣ Economic Development and Developers in the News This Week

Happy Economic Development Week everybody!

Alabama

Two Alabama chambers of commerce were recognized with the Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development from Site Selection magazine.  The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber won the award for the third consecutive year, while the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce garnered the distinction for the second year in a row.

Arizona

Phoenix is considering paying a developer to build a half street at a key location in the southwestern part of the city. (Christine Mackay)

Arkansas

Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority recently released its annual report which noted several accomplishments including Emerson locating a $35 million facility in Ash Flat, workforce development program growth at local colleges, and it showed there were about 757 jobs created in the organization’s targeted industries. (Graycen Bigger)

Siloam Springs Chamber city directors will decide on Tuesday whether to approve a resolution concerning amending the 2021 budget to pay the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce for their fourth quarter 2020 economic development services. (Arthur Hulbert)

California

Economist Christopher Thornberg keynoted the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation’s Sequoia Regional Economic Summit to discuss the county’s economic state as the nation continues to move through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The San Ramon Planning Commission is set to gather for its regular meeting on Tuesday, when city officials will review economic development opportunities for San Ramon's future.

After being on pause for several years, the Pleasanton City Council is set to revisit a proposed transportation fee that would be paid by developers who build in the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone.

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership has announced it will host its 7th Annual Regional Economic Summit on Thursday, May 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This will be a virtual event. Topics include how the region is doing economically and the opportunities ahead to reimagine the region while taking advantage of relief and stimulus funds. The summit will include discussions on innovative ways to help workers upskill and reskill.

Colorado

Northglenn City Council proclaimed May 2 to May 8 as Small Business Week. (Debbie Tuttle)

For Wendy Lind, the Hayden Horsepower clinic wasn’t just a horse training event but a piece of something much bigger. The event marked a return to normal after a year of COVID-19 lockdown and a step towards putting Hayden on the map as a destination town of its own, not just a bedroom community to Steamboat Springs.  Lind obtained a $10,000 grant from the Hayden Economic Development Committee to help bring events to the town.

A new Grand Junction City Council will be sworn in Monday, kicking off the typical process of long-range planning but with an unusual twist not afforded most councils — millions of unspoken for dollars to spend and potentially more on the way.  Grand Junction Economic Partnership Executive Director Robin Brown said it has the community thinking about projects it could fund.

Connecticut

In an effort to increase its online presence, the town of Litchfield is turning to a former local journalist for a marketing campaign to tell the town’s tales and show what it has to offer.

Florida

The city of North Port’s Economic Development Division will host the fifth annual Real Estate Summit on May 21 from 8:30 to 11:30 am at North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd.  People can attend the event or watch a livestream on the city’s YouTube page. (Mel Thomas, Destin Wells)

North Port’s economic guru, Pamela “Mel” Thomas, is retiring after a successful and lengthy career in community planning, business and higher education that included a role in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Fort Lauderdale appears to be missing out on many of the companies moving to South Florida during the pandemic — with a number of them instead landing in West Palm Beach and Miami. (Jenni Morejon, Kelly Smallridge)

Georgia

Saadia Madsbjerg has been named as the new president of the Coca-Cola Foundation.  Madsbjerg is a former managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation. Before joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Madsbjerg was senior vice president for strategic planning at the New York City Economic Development Corp.

Bill.com and Square are partnering with the Black Chambers of Atlanta to support small and midsize businesses as they navigate the second year of the global pandemic.

The Barrow-Braselton Joint Economic Development Authority held its inaugural meeting April 29 to elect officers, review and adopt bylaws, set a meeting schedule and discuss future land use in the area.

Microsoft Corp. bought 93 acres in Douglas County, its latest significant land grab around the periphery of the city as it turns metro Atlanta into its next data center region.  The Development Authority of the City of Douglasville approved tax incentives on 66 acres of the site last year, according to county property deeds. Economic development officials said they could not comment about the project because they signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Hawaii

Here’s why it’s so hard to reshape Hawaii’s tourism industry: Policymakers fear jeopardizing the industry’s recovery from the pandemic because Hawaii needs the jobs back.

Idaho

Lisa Holland, Economic Development Director for the City of Kuna and Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the City of Meridian has died.

Illinois

South Beloit is searching for an economic development expert.

Indiana

Plans for a special taxing district meant to foster economic development are moving forward, but not without opposition from some leaders and residents of the area.

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp’s first service hub in Indiana is up and running in Greenwood. Greenwood offered the company $78,000 in cash incentives. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered it up to $4.5 million in conditional tax credits, and up to $500,000 in training grants, due to the company’s plans to create hundreds of jobs.

Indiana officials are making a second go of investing in $500 million in capital projects around the state with the newly launched Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. The program mirrors a previous version created by former Gov. Mike Pence.

Alexius Barber is the new manager of NIPSCO’s public affairs and economic development efforts in Lake County.

Iowa

Earlville manufacturer serves hog industry, and aids local economy.  Local economic development leaders believe the sky is the limit for the Earlville company. (Donna Boss)

Kansas

Torch.AI is bringing in $27 million in state tax incentives from Kansas to expand its operations in a suburb of Kansas City. The fresh cash influx comes less than two months after the company secured $30 million in new Series A funding that is also aimed at growing its business. The tax incentive package was awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce.  Torch.AI committed to to creating almost 500 new full-time jobs over the next five years, including 100 professional workers in 2021 with average salaries over $100,000.

Greater Kansas City is creating jobs and expanding sales faster than expected just a few months ago, according to a revised forecast from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. Jeremy Hill, the center’s director, says the numbers are so healthy they could cost him his reputation.

Former economic development director for Phillips County, Nick Poels, is working with nonprofit NetWork Kansas on a new project to bring computer science education to K-12 schools across the state, with support from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

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