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Economic Development and Developers in the News #80

Econ dev news from 154 economic development executives and organizations in 26 states and Canada, and Europe.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
8 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News #80
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Issue 80! I've been at this for eighty weeks! That's two more weeks than a year and a half! I can't believe that I've been at it this long already.

I want to thank all my readers and podcast listeners. Thank you for everything. Thank you for putting up with my poor audio editing, typos, and bad grammar. Thank you for being the best possible people that you can be. 🙏

Your emails and messages make this all worth it. Though I can't possibly respond to everything, I read every word, and your outpouring of generosity and encouragement means the world to me.

I'll have some exciting announcements for the Econ Dev Show to share in the coming weeks, and I hope to continue improving. Still, more importantly, I hope my work here continues to advance our beloved chosen profession: economic development.


Good morning and welcome to the 80th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 154 economic development executives and organizations in 26 states, Canada, and Europe.

If this is your first time reading: Welcome!

The Econ Dev Show is a podcast, weekday email newsletter, and blog of actionable strategies, fresh news, insights, and ideas from the economic development community and your host, Dane Carlson.


Alaska

The Alaska government would be $10 billion wealthier if the $300 million it has invested into the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, had instead been put into the Alaska Permanent Fund, the 130-page study says.

Arizona

Patrick Ainsworth has been named economic development director for the city of Apache Junction. Ainsworth, who has more than a decade of experience in economic development in suburban Chicago, will be introduced by the city council on Oct. 4.

Phoenix economic development leaders briefed a council subcommittee on four city-owned properties they plan to pitch to developers in the next year. (Xandon Keating, Deputy Director, Phoenix Community & Economic Development)

Arkansas

On this week’s Talk Business & Politics, host Roby Brock sat down with Dr. Michael Pakko of the Arkansas Economic Development Institute to discuss the results of a recreational marijuana study.  Brock also spoke with Executive Director of The Conductor, Grace Rains to discuss the creation of small businesses in the Natural State.

The Golden Triangle Economic Development Forecast Conference will be on Tuesday, October 25.  Dr. Michael Pakko will speak.  He is the chief economist for the Arkansas Economic Development Institute.

The Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce has hired Cody Slater as its new vice president of Chamber programs. Slater has seven years of experience in chamber leadership and economic development. Since 2018, Slater has served as the president and CEO of the Wynne Economic Development Corporation and Cross County Chamber of Commerce.

California

A vacant, city-owned industrial building could become a hub for new businesses in the field of agricultural technology under a proposal now being explored by Escondido officials. (Jennifer Schoeneck, Escondido’s deputy director of economic development)

Ralph “Bo” Martinez, who most recently served as deputy town manager of Parker, Colorado, has been named director of Long Beach’s Economic Development Department.

Canada

Mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney has unveiled their plan for small businesses and economic development in the city of Ottawa, promising to extend the property tax discount for small businesses and focus on attracting major employers offering well-paying jobs.

Colorado

The America’s Small Business Development Center network has selected Brian Estrada, director of Southern Colorado SBDC, for a 2022 State Star award. Lisa Hudson, East Colorado SBDC Center Director; Joey Jenkins, Colorado SBDC State Director; and Wendy Wojcik, Colorado SBDC Senior Program Manager were awarded 'SBDC Under 40' awards. (Nikki Maloney, Business Support Director at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade)

Connecticut

The Community Investment Fund 2030 board – a new group led by top lawmakers – approved $76.4 million in state grants Tuesday for development and community projects in distressed municipalities.  Middletown, New Haven, Waterbury were the big winners.

The Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Government is hosting two upcoming public workshops for the creation of the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.

Wilton is reimagining the role of their Economic Development Committee.

Europe

International management consulting firm Arthur D. Little has joined the lunar economic development organization EURO2MOON.

Georgia

A Morgan County judge on Thursday shot down a central component of the $1.5 billion incentive package offered to electric vehicle startup Rivian, a ruling that threatens the future of one of Georgia’s biggest economic development projects.

Idaho

The annual Southeast Idaho Economic Development Summit will take place on Wednesday, October 12. (Bannock Development CEO MiaCate Kennedy)

Illinois

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is traveling to Mexico City for a five-day economic development trip.

Indiana

Governor Eric Holcomb will soon be heading to Europe to lead an economic development trip. Indiana’s chief executive will be joined by state leaders, including Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers and Indiana Economic Development Corporation officials, as they head for Germany and Switzerland.

The Cowork Steuben space opened its doors to the first potential clients in Angola yesterday at the open house held by Steuben County Economic Development Corporation. EDC Executive Director Isaac Lee said they had been working to open the space for ten years, and they are optimistic about its potential impact on Steuben economy.

Duke Energy Indiana has selected three properties in Hamilton, Hendricks and Putnam counties for inclusion in its 2022 Site Readiness Program, which prepares high-potential business and industrial sites for economic development investments and markets them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations. (Andrew Murray, economic development director for the city of Noblesville; John Taylor, economic development director for the town of Avon; Kristin Clary, executive director of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center)

Kansas

Topeka leaders may create fifth TIF district to spur development at former site of White Lakes Mall. (Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce president Curtis Sneden)

Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards is flying to London Wednesday to lead a delegation of business and state leaders on an economic development mission. Edwards is traveling with representatives from Louisiana Economic Development and the Louisiana Offshore Terminal.

Officials in the city of Broussard have identified three areas along high traffic roadways that they are promoting for retail development. City officials are working with the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and its Broussard Economic Development Council to help lure developers. (LEDA CEO Mandi Mitchell)

Michigan

A cumulative $1 billion deposit into a state fund designated to entice companies to site operations in Michigan was given the OK by both the House and Senate.

Minnesota

The Cass County Economic Development Corp. and its Board of Directors recently celebrated a long-standing business with strong ties to Cass County.  Eveland’s Inc./Scamp Trailers won the CCEDC Legacy Business Award. (Mike Paulus, executive director)

Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. will open the doors to the new RAEDI Economic Development Center in October. Partners located in the center include the African Development Hub, Black Entrepreneurship Team, Collider, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, Southeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center and Southeast Minnesota SCORE. (John Wade, RAEDI President)

Mississippi

Economic development was the main topic at Pearl River Community College’s Lunch and Learn last week. (Pearl River County Economic Development District Director Lindsay Ward)

Meet Regina Todd. She is the Assistant Director for Rankin First Economic Development Authority. Her responsibilities include business and industry recruitment and expansion activities in Rankin County.

Missouri

The chief of the St. Louis Development Corp. on Wednesday pledged to focus resources from an unprecedented infusion of federal aid on four struggling areas of the city, part of the plan guiding the city’s new economic development philosophy. (SLDC Director Neal Richardson)

Montana

Richland Economic Development Corp is pleased to announce that the Revolving Loan Fund  committee has awarded its 18th loan for the purchase of the old “Yellowstone Merc” building in Sidney. (Richland Economic Development executive director Leslie Messer)

New York

The new executive director of Fulton Community Development Agency, Deborah Jeanne Sergeant, is excited with her role to help bring economic development to Fulton.

Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority this week announced that transparent ceramic manufacturer Surmet Corp. has expanded its 75,000-square-foot facility at 699 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo by more than 4,000 square-feet to house new ceramics processing equipment. As a result of the $14.5 million project, the manufacturer has committed to creating up to 17 new jobs in the next three to five years. (Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight; NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll)

Tim Boyde is the new Director of Economic Development for New Allegany County)

North Carolina

The WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership officially launched the Building Outdoor Communities Program  last week, welcoming over 100 attendees for an introduction to its two-year outdoor community economic development initiative. (Bradley Spiegel, Specialist, Building Outdoor Communities; George Ivey, Development Director, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation)

The Mid-East Commission seeks public input on the update of the Mid-East Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. (Bryant Buck, Executive Director, Mid-East Commission)

Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers plan to invest $250 million in funds earmarked for rural development with nearly two dozen projects benefiting airports, railways, industrial development sites and international trade. Nearly a quarter of the funds earmarked for use will be spent in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The remainder will address economic development needs across the rest of the state.

Pennsylvania

The IMAGINE Berks economic development plan has been approved for Berks County. (Pam Shupp Menet, Deputy CAO/Director of Economic Development)

South Carolina

South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Harry Lightsey said the state has as many as 500 active economic development projects.

The Chicago Title 37th Annual Seminar will feature an economic development panel moderated by Stephanie Yarbrough, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson. (J. Steven Dykes, Economic Development Director, Charleston County; John H. Lummus, President & CEO, Upstate SC Alliance)

Tennessee

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council announced the pursuit of the second of four commercial redevelopment districts to facilitate the improvement within the downtown area. (Shea Hopkins, Executive Director, Clarksville-Montgomery County Industrial Development Board; Janet Wilson, EDC Project Manager)

Texas

The San Antonio City Council on Wednesday heard a briefing on a five-year economic development plan that attempts to address some of the city's most challenging issues. (Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, Director of Economic Development, City of San Antonio)

McAllen Chamber President & CEO Josh Mejia has been appointed as a board member of the IEDC. (Tom Kucharski, President & CEO, Invest Buffalo Niagara; Nathan Ohle, President & CEO, IEDC)

On Dec. 31, section 313 of the Texas tax code, which grants  property tax abatements to companies moving to or expanding in the Lone Star State, will expire. Glenn Hamer, CEO of the Texas Association of Business, writes that a revival of Chapter 313 is not the solution. A new and more transparent incentive program that benefits our communities, schools and state is needed if we are to ensure Texas can continue to compete with other states and countries.

The City and Lampasas Economic Development Corp. are seeking a new economic development director after Mandy Walsh issued her resignation last week.

This week the Paris Economic Development Corp announced that Lionshead Specialty Tire & Wheel has plans to build a production facility at the city’s Northwest Industrial Park. The $20 million plant will generate 40 new jobs over the next five years.

Michael Gonzalez, senior director of economic and resource development at Laredo College gave an update on economic development and trade in Laredo.

The International Economic Development Council recognized the Greater San Marcos Partnership with two 2022 Excellence Awards. This year, GSMP took home accolades for the categories of General Purpose Website and Innovation in Economic Development Week. (Jason Giulietti, president of GSMP)

Virginia

City of Lynchburg leaders and community members gathered to celebrate the wins of economic development and tourism and talked about what’s to come in the future. (Marjette Upshur, Director, Lynchburg EDA)

Washington

The City of Vancouver estimates there will be up to $4.5 million in Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program, HOME American Rescue Plan and Affordable Housing Fund dollars available for local projects in 2023. (Teresa Brum, Deputy Economic Development Director, City of Vancouver)


Thanks for reading. Be sure to send errors, corrections, and news updates to [email protected].


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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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