As January draws to a close and we realize that we are almost 1/12th of the way done with 2017, many people look back at the progress (or lack of) that they have made on their new year’s resolutions. Similarly, as economic developers, we began the year ready to take on our community’s economy. As the end of January draws near and mayors are making their “State of the City” addresses, it is the opportune time to take a step back and look at your EDO and local economy through different lenses.
Economic development is constantly in motion so we need to remember to look at the metrics of deals and to review your own EDO and community benchmarks. Maybe it is time to dust off that strategic plan and remind your team of how your organization hopes to advance your EDO’s goals. Perhaps it is your golden opportunity to get ahead on your business retention and expansion site visits that you’ve allotted for this fiscal year. It could be time to get a performance report to see exactly where your EDO is by way of budget and projects. You might even consider pulling your team together to update or compile IEDC’s EDRP Data Standards to make it easier when speaking to prospects. Maybe it is just time to invest in an economic and fiscal impact model to hold yourself, board, and/or council more fiscally accountable with taxpayer money. Perhaps you should finally sign up for one of IEDC’s two day classes as a refresher.
While this is a great time for internal inspections, the State of the City address also ignites inspiration among community leaders. Take advantage of this enthusiasm and hold a board retreat to educate them on where your EDO is on their goals and give an update on your community’s economy. Invite members of your board and/or council to join you on business retention site visits. Take stakeholders out with you to unite with other EDOs and communities to create a better regional campaign. Maybe even send some of your board or council to one of the Basic Economic Development classes.
Whatever the case, let that State of the City address inspire you, ED stakeholders, and your business community to unite to make 2017 the absolute best economic development year yet.
Banner Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Andrzej Pobiedzinski