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Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter was elected to chair the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference.
The membership of the Arizona Association for Economic Development elected five people to serve on the executive committee of its board of directors. The committee includes President Lori Collins, President-elect Wendy Bridges, Vice President Skip Becker, Secretary and Treasurer Karla Moran, and immediate past President Mignonne Hollis. Together, the members of the new executive committee bring more than 100 years of experience in economic development.
The success and likability of the Phoenix Suns could help lure companies to open offices in the region — if not move their entire headquarters to Phoenix, according to economic development officials. Claudia Whitehead, a program manager at the city of Phoenix’s Community and Economic Development Department, said the Suns are coming up on all the calls she does with companies considering a move to Phoenix, even the ones on the other side of the world.
Each year, the Arkansas Economic Development Commissionis required to rank the state’s 75 counties according to four economic variables: poverty rate, population growth, per capita personal income, and unemployment rate. In a June 28 letter to Independence County, AEDC Executive Director and Arkansas Department of Commerce Secretary Michael Preston said the rankings show that there are two counties in north-central Arkansas ranked in the top tier: Baxter and Independence.
Heartland Forward, a Bentonville think tank issued a report encouraging Arkansas business leaders and policymakers to act quickly to move the state forward in the post-pandemic economy. The 77-page “Arkansas Economic Recovery Strategy” is a guide for business development and growth in the state. The study outlines six areas that need support: talent and workforce development, innovation and research, entrepreneurship and small business, health care, supply chains and logistics and broadband deployment. (Heartland Forward CEO Ross Devol)
The Ceres City Council voted 3-1 to extend – by 180 days – the city’s contract with Steve Hallam to continue serving as the point man for economic development. Hallam has supervised and coordinated the city’s economic development and redevelopment activities on a part-time basis since 2014. Hallam’s services are needed to help wind down the former redevelopment agency as well as continue to promote Ceres to new businesses and assist existing businesses. (Fun fact: Ceres is Dane's home town!)
The Palm Springs City Council voted unanimously to cut its annual funding to the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership — the only valley-wide economic development organization — by $50,000, 40% of its current membership fee. The decision means the city will now pay $75,000 of the $125,000 in annual membership fees paid in prior years. Palm Springs' annual $200,000 contribution to the CVEP-administered Palm Springs Innovation Hub Accelerator campus will remain unchanged following the vote. (CEO Joe Wallace)
In October it was reported that Vacaville was adding a 300-acre, world class bio manufacturing center that could produce 10,000 jobs. Now they have landed a major company on 120 acres, the largest component of that site, to Agenus, Inc., a publicly traded biotech company. (Don Burrus, Director of Economic Development Services; Tim Padden, Economic Development Manager)
One in two respondents for the Longmont Economic Development Partnership’s 2021 Workforce Perceptions Study said the city’s businesses and amenities offer “the perfect work/life balance.” (CEO Jessica Erickson)
Bristol city officials discussed ongoing projects at the Economic and Community Development Board Thursday evening in City Hall, as well as the subject of marijuana now being legalized recreationally throughout Connecticut. Officials said that they wanted to “get out in front” of any legal discussions with area organizations and businesses. (Bristol Economic and Community Development Director Justin Malley)
The increased push by retailers to provide online shoppers with same- or next-day delivery is creating a need for more distribution centers within a short drive to large numbers of customers. That could transform Volusia County into a major distribution hub in the coming years, predicts commercial real estate broker David Murphy, an executive vice president with CBRE. (Helga van Eckert, economic development director for Volusia County; Keith Norden, CEO of Team Volusia Economic Development Corp.)
As part of their Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, Johns Creek is shifting resources from contractual operations with Johns Creek Advantage, who formerly advanced most of the city’s economic development, to create a full-time economic development director position as part of city staff.
The next open house on the Powder Springs Comprehensive Plan Update will be held on July 15. This event will give the community an opportunity to see the city’s recommendations, give their input in person and meet personally with the city’s consultant team. (Community Development Director Tina Garver)
Steven Jenkins is the new Economic Development Director of Caldwell. Previously he was the economic development specialist, and replaces his old boss, Steve Fultz, who left the city to become Canyon County’s planning director.
Coles Together was awarded a Community Navigator Grant worth $320,000. The grant is part of an initiative spearheaded by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help small businesses bounce-back from the recession caused by the pandemic. These funds will go to economic development organizations to help them aid local businesses in applying to future grants. (Angela Griffin, president)
Antioch officials are asking residents for their input as they look toward future plans for the town’s historic downtown area. The responses collected from residents will be considered an important element in forming a viable long-term plan, currently being prepared by an urban design firm. The Antioch Village Board’s purchase of the former 2.5-acre Pittman Motors property will be an important element of the plan. (Michael Garrigan, economic development director)
The Montgomery Economic Development Corporation Board is bidding farewell to one longtime member and welcoming two new members. Scott Vickers, from Old Second Bank, announced his retirement after thirty years. Joining the board is Will Garcia, also from Old Second Bank. Also joining the board is Joel D. Pyle who is the Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 461.
The Effingham City Council this week discussed several economic development projects that will provide direct or indirect financial aid to businesses in the area. The council discussed four projects are part of the city’s rehabilitation program, where the city pays one quarter of the costs for building renovations that improve the exteriors of buildings in the specially designated economic development areas. (Economic Development Director Todd Hull)
More Greenwood residents are working from home post-pandemic than prior to it, a survey found. The survey, conducted by Aspire Johnson County and Greenwood Economic Development Commission, found that half of the respondents work from home, with 85% of those workers believing they will continue to do so in the future. (Amanda Rubadue, vice president of economic development at Aspire)
Building a community where people want to not just live but invest and thrive is the focus of the newly-formed Knox Life Community Improvement Team — or, more simply, Knox Life. The committee was initiated when members of Knox County Indiana Economic Development — formerly the Knox County Development Corp. — began to think and talk about potential quality of life improvements throughout the county. (CEO Chris Pfaff)
Governor Eric Holcomb on Friday concluded an economic development trip to Qatar. During the trip, Holcomb met with government officials and business leaders to work on establishing new business relationships in the Middle East.
Wayne County government, Forward Wayne County, Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau partnered to apply for and receive a $250,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.
Main Street Manning, one of 55 designated Main Street communities in Iowa, has been designated as an accredited Main Street program for meeting rigorous performance standards in 2020. (Manning City Administrator Dawn Meyer; Patrice Frey, president and CEO of Main Street America)
The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced $20.5 million in awards Wednesday to transform 12 historic buildings, including Sioux City's Badgerow Building, into new spaces while maintaining their historic character. (Debi Durham, executive director of IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority)
The Forest City Council accepted terms of a $100,000 catalyst grant awarded to the city by the Iowa Economic Development Authority toward transformation of the former Irish Hospital to an apartment building. (Forest City Economic Development Executive Director Beth Bilyeu)
Governor Laura Kelly announced the third round of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement awards, distributing nearly $4 million to 25 Kansas communities to promote business retention for small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Sara Hayden, director of Great Bend Economic Development, asked the Barton County Commission on Wednesday to provide $20,000 for an advertising initiative. A majority of Commissioners approved that request but added another $20,000 for projects her non-profit organization is working on.
The Economic Development Administration is awarding a $2.1 million grant to Wichita State University. The money is for purchasing and installing equipment for use in the new Flight Test Research Center and a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Facility to be located at the National Institute for Aviation Research. The EDA says this project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Central Kansas Economic Development District.
Government officials and representatives from the business community in Lexington, Kentucky are looking forward to receiving a 200-acre parcel of land from the University of Kentucky they say will help the state’s second-largest city compete for economic development projects. (Gina Greathouse, executive vice president for economic development, Commerce Lexington)
Opelousas's Downtown Development District commissioned a master plan for downtown that city officials hope can creates a vision for the city’s core and set in motion a plan for “a vibrant mix of commerce, open space, active streets and housing options” for residents. (Bill Rodier, St. Landry Economic Development Office)
The boards of five Lafayette economic development districts, created in 2019 and collecting sales taxes for the past year, agreed to enter into management contracts with two organizations to administer the day-to-day operations of the districts. The Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority will manage the Downtown, Holy Rosary and Northway EDDs. The Acadiana Planning Commission will manage the University Avenue and Trappey's EDDs.
Eastern Maine Development Corporation revealed its updated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy this week. The new CEDS identifies five goal areas based on regional priorities and needs — broadband, transportation, climate resilience, workforce and education and business. (President/CEO Lee Umphrey)
The City of Bowie unanimously approved a contract for a Baltimore-based institute to create an economic development strategy and action plan during Tuesday’s in-person meeting, the first in over a year. The contract was awarded to the University of Baltimore Jacob France Institute, in the amount of $99,619. (Economic Development Director John Henry King)
Tom Sadowski has been appointed to take over Maryland's quasi-public economic development agency this summer. Sadowski will take over the executive director role from Robert Brennan, who is retiring at the end of July.
1Berkshire, in partnership with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and with support from the United States Economic Development Administration, is seeking experienced consultants for consideration to be hired as part of the Berkshire Economic Recovery Program. The Berkshire Economic Recovery Program is a two-year initiative to provide enhanced technical support to both businesses and municipalities in the Berkshires to assist in recovery and ongoing resiliency work.
The city of Big Rapids is seeking applicants for the CEDAM Community Development Fellowship, a 15-month paid position that will help expand organizational capacity and take on a variety of development projects in Big Rapids.
The city of Flint is highlighting its small businesses with the new “Enjoy. Shop. Love. Flint. Support small business” initiative. The goal of the campaign is to change the narrative about doing business in the city. People visit cities and walk away with stories to tell. (Flint Economic Development Director Khalfani Stephens)
The City of Vergas will soon have new a commercial office building in the downtown area that will be home to a construction company and real estate office thanks in part to Otter Tail County in partnership with the City of Vergas. Summers Holdings LLC was granted an abatement of property taxes from the City and County to offset increased construction costs. (Bruce Albright, President of the Vergas EDA/HRA; Amy Baldwin, Community Development Director, Otter Tail County)
Nearly $30 million in investment is planned for a pair of Mankato's run-down properties, bringing 168 new apartment units and hopefully spurring additional redevelopment west of downtown Mankato and along Highway 169, according to recent applications for state assistance to clean up contaminated soils at the sites. (Kristin Prososki, associate director of housing and economic development)
Brian Henson is the new Director of the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship at The University of Southern Mississippi . Previously he was the Chief of Staff for the Delta Regional Authority – a federal-state partnership created by the U.S. Congress to promote and encourage economic development throughout the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt regions.
Camgian Microsystems is expanding in Starkville and adding 25 new jobs. The high-tech research and development and product development company is expanding in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park across from Mississippi State University.
Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET recently announced it has not only expanded its investors and board of directors, but there is much more on the horizon. MAGNET is a regional organization charged with several aspects of economic development. To accelerate economic momentum and devise a plan for a unified vision in the future, MAGNET will create strategic plan with the help of Ernst & Young Economic Development Advisory Services. (John Mehner, Director)
While Franklin County area communities saw modest growth in the last decade, Union’s population sprouted 16.5 percent, according to a population expert from the University of Missouri-Columbia. City leaders see the growth as a result of their efforts to attract businesses and families. Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder, who also leads Union’s economic development, credits the growth to the recent construction of several retirement communities and a focus by the city on “rooftops and jobs.”
United Women's Empowerment has launched its Statewide Economic Development Task Force to host town halls and compile research and data from the stories shared by everyday women, taking their findings directly to policy makers. (Wendy Doyle, United WE president and CEO)
The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development used federal grant money to help 39 small Nevada businesses develop their export sales over the past year. The money is from a State Trade Expansion Program grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Reno Seed Fund and FundNV recently announced a $150,000 pre-seed co-investment in Reno startup Hibear, best known for creating an innovative 32-ounce “All-Day Adventure Flask.” (Mike Kazmierski, President CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada)
The Capital Region's Economic Development Council is shifting its strategy as it looks to help build back the economy post-Covid and compete in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's annual $750 million state money competition. The updated regional plan for 2021 and beyond will be cluster-driven, focusing on building out a few of the region's growing industries and businesses. (Mark Eagan, President & CEO)
Three potential sites for an industrial park — all of them new — have been identified by the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA is soliciting proposals for engineering/consulting firms to study and evaluate the feasibility of the three sites for a shovel-ready industrial park. (Executive Director Sarah Davis)
In the 10 years that the state’s consolidated funding application process has been in place, the Mid-Hudson Valley has benefited from Albany funding for over 900 projects with some $713.6 million. Tom Scaglione, the executive director of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, said the area is beginning to rebound from the pandemic and sees a bright future.
Forest products manufacturer Roseburg Forest Products will invest $200 million to develop a sawmill operation in Weldon, North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper's office said.
The Wilkes County and Wilkesboro governing bodies have discussed but still haven’t held public hearings on incentives proposed to land a company’s apparent significant economic investment with new jobs. Wilkesboro, Wilkes County and Wilkes Economic Development Corp. officials are referring to the matter as “Project Flow.”
Rockingham County Commissioners recognized its own economic development leader, Leigh Cockram, at the June 21 board meeting at the Governmental Center in Wentworth. During the meeting, County Manager Lance Metzler presented Cockram, who was named June 9, the 2021 North Carolina Economic Development Association Economic Developer of the Year.
The Yancey County Economic Development Commission received notification from the United States Department of Agriculture that its application for grant funding through the USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program to fund the cost of a site search for a potential new industrial park in partnership with Mitchell County has been approved. The grant award of $41,500 will be made to Yancey County government to engage the services of an economic development consultant to evaluate potential sites for a multijurisdictional industrial park which would be developed in partnership with Yancey and Mitchell Counties. (Yancey EDC Director Jamie McMahan)
The first half of 2021 has treated the city of Williston well in terms of business development. The Williston Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development leaders say they are well on their way to a record year. So far, the Williston Economic Development’s STAR Fund mini-match grant program has benefited 12 new businesses, six expansions and two improvements. (Executive director Shawn Wenko)
Cuyahoga County Council last week got its first look at the results of their one-year COVID-19 recovery plan, and a preview of what a new, five-year economic development plan will do to take advantage of the brightened economic environment. During the pandemic, county leaders pivoted to a one-year economic plan in 2020 to deal with the huge disruption of business slowdowns and closures. Now that vaccines are available and the economy shows signs of recovering, it is time to look forward. (Deputy Chief Economic Development Officer, Paul Herdeg;
Shashonna Duckworth, director of the Small Business Development Center at Urban League of Greater Cleveland; JumpStart CEO Ray Leach; David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland)
Destination Mansfield-Richland County and the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development announced that consultants working on the community branding project will be in the community this week for an immersion tour. Representatives from Belo + Company, a national company that specializes in community branding, will be there to do “on the ground” research.
Cincinnati's Economic Development Reform Panel heard feedback from a few people on its draft recommendations. The City Council formed the panel in response to three council members indicted for corruption last year, although the panel was tasked with examining the development process as a whole.
The Pawhuska City Council voted, 5-0, to renew its contract for economic development services with the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce. The decision came just two days before the beginning of a new fiscal year, and in context of the Chamber having hired a new executive director: Kelly Bland, the executive director of Osage County Tourism and executive director of the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce.
A land swap between the Oklahoma Industries Authority and the Commissioners of the Land Office is expected to add $1.3 million in annual distributions to schools while providing Oklahoma City 577 acres to lure new industry. The transaction started last fall when the Oklahoma City Council approved a request by The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, which oversees the Industries Authority, to use up to $13 million in General Obligation Limited Tax bonds (GOLT) to buy property to swap with land owned by the land office that is located along Interstate 240 between Eastern and Bryant Avenues. (Cathy O’Connor, president of the Alliance)
The Osage Nation and Fab Lab Tulsa have been awarded a total of $2.5 million in federal grants for improvements in a drone program and digital systems, respectively. The awards, announced Thursday by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo, are through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.
A nationwide search is on to find the leader of the Portland Business Alliance’s new Black Economic Prosperity Agenda. The unique partnership with Prosper Portland, Multnomah County, the Oregon chapter of National Association of Minority Contractors and the state legislature’s BIPOC Caucus, among other state agencies, has already raised over $800,000 from private and public fundraising contributions, sparking national interest. Motus Recruiting, a firm with decades of diverse and equitable hiring experience, has partnered with PBA in its hunt for an executive director of the new initiative.
Governor Tom Wolf announced that Materion Corporation, a global producer of advanced engineered materials headquartered in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, will expand its manufacturing operations to a new facility in Berks County, Pennsylvania, creating at least 65 new, full-time jobs at the site and retaining 132 jobs at another existing Berks County site.
The Perry County Chamber of Commerce used its 2021 dinner to celebrate a return to normalcy, and to remember the tribulations everyone endured through the pandemic over the past year. (Martha “Marti” Roberts, chairperson of the Perry County Economic Development Authority)
Nona Bethea Watson has started her new role as York’s director of Economic and Community Development. Previously, she served as the director of Economic Development for Harrisburg.
One of the earliest moves toward implementing action items in the newly revised Westerly Comprehensive Plan will see the Planning Board focus on additional economic development of the downtown area. Town Planner Nancy Letendre said she and Principal Planner Alyse Oziolor now perform some economic development functions through their work with both the Planning Board and the EDC.
The Deadwood City Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding with TRD, LLC for the Preacher Smith Property, also known as “The Ridge” development in regard to a proposed annual appropriation Tax Increment Financing (TIF) of $10.5 million. (Deadwood-Lead Economic Development Corporation Director Kevin Wagner)
Last summer, the City of Edinburg and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation entered into a new partnership agreement to streamline economic development efforts in the city and generate better outcomes for local businesses and residents. According to figures released today by the City’s Economic Development Department, that partnership has produced significant results in its first year, including commitments by employers to create or retain more than 900 jobs and to add nearly 250,000 square feet and $175 million in capital investment to the city’s growing tax base over the next few years. (Blanca Davila, Economic Development Director)
The city of Keller will offer an economic development agreement to bring Las Palapas, a Mexican restaurant, to town -- expecting a 381% return on investment. City Council voted July 6 to approve a four-year agreement recommended by city staff. Under that agreement, the city will reduce a portion of the restaurant’s sales and ad valorem property taxes each year, for a total of $83,448.10, according to a presentation by Director of Economic Development Mary Culver.
Officials with Downtown Wichita Falls Development announced the launch of a new program designed to showcase buildings for sale or lease. With funding help from the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation, “Opportunity Tours” will give easier access to investors by opening up buildings for tours and having property owners, realtors and brokers, and Downtown Development staff on-site to provide any information investors may be looking for. (Jana Schmader, Executive Director)
Governor Greg Abbott announced more than $5.5 million in Texas Talent Connection grants to 18 innovative workforce skills training and job placement programs in communities across the state. These competitive grant awards, administered by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism division, support innovative education and workforce skills training programs that lead to successful job placement, increased wages, and improved job retention, as well as programs serving workforce populations with special needs.
The Marshall Economic Development Corporation is investing $250,000 towards the completion of the The Great Commission Center at East Texas Baptist University. The project will also create an entrepreneurship lab to help foster an environment suitable for start-up companies in Marshall, including ETBU students. (Rush Harris, Executive Director)
The Gainesville City Council unanimously approved an agreement between the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation and Strategic Rail Industrial LLC to purchase and develop Gateway Industrial Park for $5 million. (Executive Director Audrey Schroyer)
Ray Watson has been hired as the new economic development director for the town of Flower Mound. Watson is based in Dallas as a partner with US Consults, a national consulting company specializing in site selection and government relations. Previously, Watson has served as the executive director of economic development corporations in Kerrville (Texas), Windcrest (Texas), Ruston (Louisiana), and Ouachita (Louisiana).
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Economic Development announced the second-tier priority group of the Economic Recovery Bridge Program can now apply. The first tier was intended for businesses that had not previously received state or federal recovery funds. Starting today, the Economic Recovery Bridge Program is now processing and accepting applications from businesses and non-profits who have received prior state and federal funds but can still demonstrate a net tax loss in 2020 due to COVID-19.
A multimillion-dollar project to remove lead-based paint from the White Mill building will get a $500,000 boost from the state. Getting rid of toxic substances will cost roughly $3.5 million and is one of the first steps in the redevelopment of this historic building that is scheduled to begin this fall. (Danville Economic Development Director Corrie Bobe)
Greene County could see some big changes along the Ruckersville U.S. Route 29 corridor if the Board of Supervisors accepts the Planning Commission’s 4-1 recommendation to approve a rezoning near that will create a mixed-use development. (President of the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development, Helen Cauthen)
Aspiring entrepreneurs can get start-up tips during Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s next Entrepreneurship 101 virtual workshop. Held every other month, Entrepreneurship 101, or “E-101,” is a virtual workshop that features a panel of small business experts on how to start a business. (Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA)
Each year, the Port of Anacortes thanks those that have contributed to its mission and its effort to meet its ongoing and long-term goals. The port awarded its Economic Development Partner Award to Skagit County for its use of the Economic Development Grant Program to help increase business development and economic growth within the port district.
As businesses fully reopen, staffing hasn’t kept up with demand and establishments from restaurants to retail to gyms to hospitals are scrambling. (Colleen McAleer, Clallam Economic Development Council executive director)
The federal government has yet to release the $138 million the state is expected to receive for broadband investment but West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council is getting ready for that release. (West Virginia Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael)
Madison is seeking a partner in the redevelopment of five public housing sites known as “the Triangle” that would replace or substantially upgrade roughly 340 units within the next five to 10 years. (Matt Wachter, director of planning and community and economic development)
A Northeast Wisconsin economic development organization received federal funds to help ease broadband access gaps and make sure business can still get done. New North, Inc., a regional economic development non-profit working in 18 counties throughout Northeast Wisconsin including Brown County, recently received a $500,000 U.S. Economic Development Association Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act grant. (New North President and CEO Barb LaMue)
The City of Kenora aims to grow its economy and tourism sector, with help from a new, five-year strategy. A draft of the Tourism and Economic Development Strategy was presented to the northwestern Ontario city's council last week.
The president of the Puerto Rico Economic Development Bank, Luis Alemañy, along with the economists from the institution’s Center for Economic Studies, revealed the recovery of more than 80,000 of the jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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