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.

To read the full article click here. If it has been removed, please email Alexia Eanes for a copy of the entire article.

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.

To read the full article click here. If it has been removed, please email Alexia Eanes for a copy of the entire article.

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.

To read the full article click here. If it has been removed, please email Alexia Eanes for a copy of the entire article