Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Economic viability study seeking Laramie County residents’ input

By Austin Huguelet

CHEYENNE – A research firm hired to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy wants to know what Laramie County residents think about where they live and what they want improved in the future.

An online survey hosted by Atlanta-based Market Street Services as part of a larger economic viability study asks residents’ opinions on a number of issues that regularly make news and impact their everyday lives.

One question, for example, asks participants to rate things like Cheyenne’s availability of affordable housing, public safety, and shopping and dining options.


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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

By Doug Randall

Residents of the greater Cheyenne area are being asked for their input on the community by the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.


The process of getting feedback started last week with meetings with focus groups and a steering committee meeting. Market Street Services of Atlanta has been hired to do research for a Community and Economic Development Strategy that will be developed using survey results.



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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Opportunity Austin: How a relatively quiet effort supercharges a regional economy

By Daniel Salazar

One of the region's most influential economic development programs is well into its second decade, though it isn't a household name. Despite the roaring economy — or perhaps because of it — its leaders say there are no plans to slow down.

Opportunity Austin is a five-county economic development initiative by the Austin Chamber of Commerce known well to local business insiders, but doesn't have much of a public profile. The behind-the-scenes effort entails hundreds of investors contributing millions of dollars every five years. Their money and attention is focused broadly to just about every nook and cranny of the city. Sure, there is old-fashioned corporate retention and job-creation strategies, but school children, poor residents and even roads, buses and trains get attention because all affect the region's economic success.



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Monday, December 11, 2017

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

By Richard Danielson

ST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure St. Peterburg’s urban renaissance doesn’t leave anyone behind.

"Grow Smarter" is the mantra adopted by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and organizers said it’s built on a commitment to bring many people and groups into the conversation.

"This is kind of the beginning of the next phase," chamber board chairman and Regions Bank market president Jim Donatelli told 220 entrepreneurs, civic leaders, government officials, educators and others during a half-day summit at Pinellas Technical College.


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Monday, November 27, 2017

County, cities working together for growth

By Claire Kowalick
An economic report from the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce to the county suggests communities working together for growth is the wave of the future.
Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the chamber, met with the Wichita County Commissioners Monday to discuss an ongoing effort between the city, chamber and multiple stakeholder groups throughout the county.

Florsheim said Market Street Services, a community and economic development planning group based in Atlanta, is working with the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (4A Board) to create a strategic plan for economic growth and community development.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

City Coalition Launches Survey

By Joy Hampton 

The Norman Economic Development Coalition wants to know what you think, and they’ve launched a survey to gather information from community partners.

During his second year at the helm of NEDC, Executive Director Jason Smith realized something was lacking. He was leading NEDC to look into programs, but the coalition didn’t know where to focus its efforts. "It became pretty clear there was no consensus in the community, or even among our stakeholders, on what constitutes a successful economic development program,” he said.

The Norman Economic Development Coalition’s mission is to improve Norman’s quality of life through the creation and retention of jobs. Established in 1996, NEDC is a joint effort of the University of Oklahoma, the city of Norman, the Moore Norman Technology Center and the Sooner Centurions, a committee of the Norman Chamber of Commerce.


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Jaycees take the lead in search for young professionals

By Bayne Hughes

Brittany Ackerman’s return to Decatur has been much more enjoyable than her initial experience as an intern. The 23-year-old 3M-Decatur project engineer attributes her happiness in the city to her involvement in the Jaycees, a Junior Chamber civic organization for ages 18 to 40.

After working on a Habitat for Humanity home in Southwest Decatur earlier this week, Ackerman said the Jaycees gave her a way to meet people other than her co-workers through socials and volunteer work.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Two-day planning session outlines a vision to move county forward

By Doug Ford

Repairing potholes and building bike trails shouldn’t be an “either or” proposition, and moving Halifax County forward while preserving what it already has was one point of discussion at a two-day planning session attended by the board of supervisors and other community leaders Tuesday and Wednesday at Southern Virginia Technology Park.

Supervisors, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce President Mitzi McCormick, Halifax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg, SVHEC Executive Director Dr. Betty Adams, Halifax County IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard, HCSA Executive Director Mark Estes and Tom Raab and Carl Espy, town managers for the towns of South Boston and Halifax, respectively, discussed both attributes and challenges facing Halifax County and possible solutions moving forward as part of forming a vision for economic development and growth.


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

City to review its 2017 goals

by Bryan Richardson

The Manhattan City Commission will have a midyear review Tuesday of its goals and priorities.
The work session starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Some of the ongoing goals include developing an economic strategic plan, consolidating zoning and subdivision regulations, and creating a street maintenance plan.

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce is leading the efforts on the economic plan after hiring Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based consulting firm, for the study.


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Greater Manhattan Project rolls out assessment findings

By Megan Moser

Manhattan area leaders have released the findings of a community assessment, part of an effort to create a unified vision and strategy to attain a “thriving, sustainable and equitable future” for the region.

Among the conclusions: the region’s economy relies too much on public-sector employment and lags in retail; the perception of public K-12 education doesn’t match performance compared to that of peer communities; and the community needs to improve its base of skilled workers to take advantage of opportunities at the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Pat on the back for Greater Manhattan Project

Every year at the regional chambers of commerce retreat — the annual gathering in Overland Park that involves business leaders from Riley, Geary and Pottawatomie counties — a popular theme is working together to move forward.

People talk about regionalism and promoting our area to the rest of the country and how we need to build on our strengths.



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Monday, July 31, 2017

Editorial: Overcoming our population problem

By The Capital-Journal Editorial Board

Last month, we discussed the importance of attracting young talent to Topeka.

According to a recent community assessment conducted by Market Street Services Inc., population growth in Topeka hasn’t kept pace with other large metro areas in Kansas. Between 2005 and 2015, the state’s population increased by around 166,000 people, and “approximately 86 percent of this growth occurred in Douglas, Johnson, Riley and Sedgwick counties.” However, despite the fact that Shawnee County constitutes 6 percent of the overall population in Kansas, it accounted for only 4 percent of the state’s population growth during this period.


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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Editorial: A decisive mayoral contest in Topeka

By The Capital-Journal Editorial Board

Topeka’s mayoral primary is less than two weeks away (Aug. 1), and a public forum brought all five candidates together on stage at the Jayhawk Theatre on Wednesday night. The event attracted an overflow crowd to the theater — even though 180 chairs had been set out, 230 people showed up. Considering the dismal turnout for most local elections in Topeka, this level of interest is encouraging. It demonstrates that Topekans value civic engagement and recognize that this is a critical time for our city. However, if you look at the turnout numbers from recent mayoral primaries, you’d come away with an entirely different impression. For example, in the 2009 primary, only 13.08 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. In 2013, the proportion was a pitiful 4.4 percent.


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Strategic initiative underway to improve city, area

By John Ingle, Times Record News

As the saying goes, it's hard to get where you want to go without a road map.

A group of community members representing almost all sectors of business and government has been put together to develop a road map, of sorts, to guide the city toward growth and create a Wichita Falls of the future.

Henry Florsheim, president and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce & Industry and chair of the newly formed Wichita Falls Economic Development Steering Committee, said the group is in the beginning stages of the roughly 10-month process to create the strategic plan. Consulting firm Market Street Services will help keep the group on track and analyze information gathered.



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Friday, June 23, 2017

Spartanburg leaders look at ways to end ‘brain drain’

By Bob Montgomery
Charlianne Nestlen is committed to Spartanburg.
She grew up here, earned her degree in communications at USC Upstate and, at 36, is now a successful real estate agent who lives here with her husband and 4-year-old child.
“Spartanburg has a lot,” said Nestlen, chairwoman of the Spartanburg Young Professionals, a Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce networking group. “Some stay and some go. We’re not trying to be Charlotte or Greenville. We’re trying to be the Hub City and create our own identity.”
But many young people don’t share Nestlen’s enthusiasm, and that has some civic and business leaders concerned.

A recent study for the chamber by Atlanta-based Market Street Services found young people are less likely to stay in Spartanburg.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Editorial: Forge attracts young professionals

The Capital-Journal Editorial Board 

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Topeka’s population fell for the fifth straight year in 2016. While the census is conducted every decade, the Census Bureau provides annual population estimates for cities, counties and states across the country. When the last census was released in 2010, Topeka had a population of 127,473 — a number that has fallen to 126,808 if the Census Bureau’s estimate is accurate. The 2015-2016 decrease (457 people) was larger than any of the preceding four years. 

A static or shrinking population can have harmful effects on a community. In September 2016, Market Street Services Inc. completed a community assessment that “examines the competitive issues facing Topeka-Shawnee County” for the Topeka-Shawnee County Holistic Economic Development Strategy steering committee... 



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Thursday, June 15, 2017

The inclusion solution: Sioux Falls grapples with diversity as workforce woes mount

Jeremy J Fugleberg

Jason Ball stepped up to the microphone before the downtown Rotary Club last month and delivered a strong message calling for Sioux Falls to come into its own.
“We have to begin to get okay with becoming a major metro area," said the president and CEO of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce,
The metro area now includes more than 250,000 people, he reminded the crowd.
"We’ve got to grow into the community we need to be," he said. "And I think that’s going to begin here, with us not only just valuing the diversity that exists in this community but finding ways to celebrate it."


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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town


St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.

It's easy to sell this place," Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday. It's unclear what incentives were tied to the expansion.
This will be the Williamsport, Pa.--based company's second location.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Consultants considered for city economic development

Claire Kowalick, Times Record News

Wichita Falls is checking off another item on their “to-do” list by gathering a team to explore increased economic development for the area.

Two resolutions are under consideration at the Wichita Falls City Council meeting Tuesday to approve funding for a comprehensive economic development strategy from Market Street Services Inc. The cost of the study will be split 50/50 between the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation (4A) and the 4B Sales Tax Corp., or $91,750 from each group.

At a goal development meeting earlier this year, the council chose “accelerating economic growth” as one of their top goals. The council urged the 4A and 4B boards to work collectively on an economic strategy for the city. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Henry Florsheim began the process, thoroughly investigating more than 20 firms to guide the process. The group was narrowed to four, then two, and finally Market Street and its CEO Mac Holladay were chosen.


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chamber: Vision study underway

The Mercury


Area officials will receive the final report of a recently initiated community and economic development analysis early next year.

The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce sent Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based consulting firm, data and studies from Manhattan, Riley County, K-State and Fort Riley.

Lyle Butler, president of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, told county commissioners Thursday morning that the consultants are gathering data as they start to study the region.


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Friday, February 3, 2017

Editorial: Capital Crossroads' wish list requires your work

The Des Moines Register


It would be tempting to think of Capital Crossroads’ priorities — including a downtown sports stadium, an indoor farmers market and a new airport terminal — as a wish list that some Santa will fulfill in the next five years.

That’s not how the vision plan works, and that’s not how central Iowa works. Improving the region takes pushing and lifting by many hands — hundreds of elves, you might say.

Nearly 700 volunteers have worked to identify and implement projects in the first round of Capital Crossroads. The result has been more trails and improved parks, more job opportunities, new attractions in downtown Des Moines, among other accomplishments.


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Capital Crossroads 2.0 unveiled

Perry Beeman, Senior Staff Writer
Des Moines Business Record

Capital Crossroads 2.0’s five-year blueprint for Central Iowa emerged Wednesday night at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

If you think the area could use better housing options, a new downtown sports stadium, an indoor soccer venue, better skywalk access, improved mobility and a higher education needs assessment that could include the debate over a downtown university campus, you’ll like what you see. The report includes calls for local option sales taxes, a more regional airport authority, improved mass transit, and a hub for refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs, along with water trails, a new airport terminal, a regional council of governments and remodeling of Drake Stadium to help lure the Olympic trials.


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Friday, January 27, 2017

Columbus leaders unveil 5-step plan to reduce poverty, spur economic growth

Alva James-Johnson
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer


A group of prominent Columbus leaders — representing various sectors of the community — unveiled a plan Friday to spur economic growth and increase prosperity in the region.

The initiative, called Columbus 2025, was presented during a news conference at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. The plan focuses on five action areas: targeted economic growth; talented and educated people; enterprising culture; vibrant and connected places; and cohesive image and identity. Committees have been set up to implement each segment of the plan, and the results will be evaluated based on a series of baseline, best-practice metrics.

Those unveiling the initiative Friday were Billy Blanchard, partner and board member of Jordan-Blanchard Capital; Audrey Tillman, executive vice president and general counsel at Aflac; Jackie Lowe, a retired Georgia Power executive; and Jimmy Yancey, retired chairman of Synovus.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Spartanburg city leaders launch OneSpartanburg initiative

Matthew Clark
GSA Business Report

After nearly a year of work, including community surveys, meetings and data analysis, Spartanburg is ready to move forward with a plan that city leaders hope will put it on track for future prosperity.

Allen Smith, president of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, along with other city officials, unveiled the OneSpartanburg plan to focus on the quality of life in the Upstate city. The plan includes creating an organization dedicated to improving downtown and another aimed at implementing the OneSpartanburg plan. Both organizations will be housed under the Chamber of Commerce.

The plan includes a five-year implementation process and comes with an estimated price tag of $5.15 million over the five years. The budget — which is being raised with private funding — includes creating up to seven new positions, including an executive vice president of the Downtown Partnership and an executive vice president of OneSpartanburg.


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Friday, January 6, 2017

Editorial: Progress in 2017 toward year-round economy

Editorial Board
Napels Daily News


Efforts to diversify Collier County’s economy might be described using the idiom “fits and starts.” Now, however, we see a new year arriving with a fitting new start.

The “fits” trace to 1976 with the formation of the Collier County Economic Development Council (EDC) because of concern the local economy was based too much on tourism and real estate/construction.

Within just the past decade, Project Innovation launched in 2008 with the intention of diversifying the economy. That initiative died, as did the EDC in September 2011. A 2012 KMK Consulting report then concluded, you guessed it, that Collier needed to diversify its economy. So Collier government created an economic development arm, but it languished for two years under ineffective leadership.

Late 2013 brought a big splash with the public-private Partnership for Collier’s Future Economy. A Market Street Services study for the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce showed Collier lost more than 13 percent of its jobs -- nearly 20,000 -- during the Great Recession. Tourism and real estate/construction saw major job losses.


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