Friday, October 4, 2019

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLANNING BEGINS


By Alan Miles

Expanding developments of businesses and homes are imperative to a growing city that may need guidance to strategic structure of its communities. This planning can lead to prosperous businesses as well as joyful citizens embracing their new beginnings. Speaking with Ranada Robinson from Market Street Services the ideas presented are attracting more building in Jefferson City.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOURSELF AND MARKET STREET SERVICES?

Market Street was founded in 1997 by J. Mac Holladay, the only individual to head state level economic development organizations in three different states. We recently celebrated 20 years of serving as a trusted advisor for a wide range of clients in more than 165 communities and regions across 34 states. The majority of our work is focused on applying a holistic approach to strategic planning for community and economic development in communities of all sizes, and we also provide assistance with research and strategic planning that is more narrowly-focused on a specific issue (i.e. entrepreneurship, workforce development, cluster development).

I have worked at Market Street for 11 years, and in that time, I’ve worked in dozens of communities, leading research, facilitating focus groups and stakeholder input, and advising clients on strategic actions. Outside of work, I’m very involved in my own community, where I’m usually focused on economic empowerment and providing various opportunities for kids. I’m also a supermom to my 7-year-old named Frederick and my 11-year-old mini schnauzer Smokie Robinson!



To read the full blog post click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Intercity Visit 2019: October 2 - 4


Expedition Montgomery Is Set to Engage Topeka's Community Leaders, Influencers and Activists
As we get closer to Expedition Montgomery, the GTP team is putting together a thought provoking agenda. Some of the major topics and highlights so far include in-depth discussions with Montgomery officials on their collaboration with Market Street consultants to create three community-wide plans similar to Momentum 2022. The topic of what worked, what didn’t work and more will be continuously examined throughout the trip, which will prove especially relevant as Topeka quickly approaches the strategy's halfway point.

Attendees will also hear from the Chief of Police on their SMART Watch program designed to combat crime, from city officials on how the city won the SMART CITY Challenge just last year, which was a combined initiative to connect and leverage the communities unique technology assets, and from educators on how the community has rallied to go from a city with some of the lowest preforming nationally known schools to having one the best Magnet schools in the country.

Sessions are also coming together that will see GTP leadership break out according to the five pillars of Momentum 2022 for afternoon tours relevant to the issues facing Topeka today: from innovation campuses, to schools, to Montgomery’s strong civil rights tourism, to driving neighborhood tours and discussions.

Even with a high-level agenda, the GTP has still found ways to allow for fun and networking within the group. Each day will conclude with a riverboat cruise and a superb dining experience at one of Montgomery's excellent local restaurants, before we call it a night and make our way back to the Renaissance Hotel.

More information here.



      To read the full article email Alexia Eanes.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Economic Incubators Inc. has served Collier County well

By Penny Taylor, Collier County Commission District 4

It is not often, in the history of a community that private citizens join with government to lay the foundation for profound change.

That is what happened in 2014 when the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce brought Market Street Services, a highly respected company providing community, workforce and economic development strategic planning services to Collier County. The steering committee — 50 plus folks strong — the Board of County Commissioners and the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce worked with Market Street to create a report on the economic future of Collier County. Market Street’s task was to provide an assessment of our competitiveness for economic growth and diversity.

One of the strategic recommendations in the report is to expand the entrepreneurial capacity of Collier County. In response, the Naples Accelerator (accelerator) and the Immokalee Incubator (incubator) were created, and managed by, Economic Incubators, Inc. (EII). The County funded both. The Board of EII was composed of highly respected and influential business leaders who understood the importance of entrepreneurial activity and took the risk and the time to bring this key economic element to Collier County.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Our View: Regional cooperation is the key to bringing new jobs to our area

By: Washington County News

When we say we need more economic development, that’s just sort of a bureaucratic way of saying we need more jobs.

It’s kind of like a statement we heard on a TV show recently, where a boss told an employee, “When someone comes into the hardware store looking for a quarter-inch drill bit, what they’re saying isn’t that they need a drill bit. What they’re really saying is that they need a quarter-inch hole.”

And, as anyone involved in economic and community development knows, the goal is to create new jobs (preferably ones that provide living wages) at least as fast as the old jobs are slipping away.

Losing jobs — and not having enough new ones to replace them — will eventually spell death for a community, so it’s not only prudent to focus on job recruitment, it’s an absolute necessity to ensure survival.

And when we engage in economic development activities, sometimes we must put city, county and state borders aside and concentrate on the region as a whole.

That’s the message that about 20 community and business leaders from both of the Bristols; Sullivan County, Tennessee; and Washington County, Virginia, heard last week during a forum at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. The speaker was Mac Holladay, founder and CEO of Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based economic and community development consulting firm.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Leaders discuss regional economic development

By David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Successful economic development is blind to invisible boundaries, a consultant told local city and county leaders Tuesday.

Mac Holladay, founder and CEO of Market Street Services, an Atlanta-based economic and community development consulting firm, spoke to a group of about 20 community and business leaders from both Bristols, Sullivan County and Washington County, Virginia, at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s clearly communication and understanding the labor shed knows no boundaries. They don’t care where the city limits are or where the state line is either,” Holladay said after the 90-minute forum. “Neither does the quality of education. Neither does the quality of place because what you want is as many good choices as you can get. You want different places of different sizes to be of quality.”

Holladay said the most attractive areas for businesses have quality education, a prepared workforce and good quality of life. By contrast, he cited rural areas where hospitals have closed, describing those areas as economically “done” because health care is a key, basic consideration. Having no hospital makes it more difficult to attract new employers or families, he added.

He also said everyone involved needs to appreciate when another locality lands a business or industry.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Momentum Grows in Topeka Via Holistic Economic Development Plan

By Kristin Hiller

A renaissance is underway in Topeka, Kansas, with undeniable momentum as new commercial, industrial and residential developments emerge citywide.

The year 2015 was pivotal with a $9.4 million public-private investment in infrastructure and amenities along Kansas Avenue downtown. Local investors have purchased more than 25 buildings on the avenue for gradual restoration into thriving businesses like Iron Rail Brewing, The Pennant, Cyrus Hotel and Kansas Avenue Lofts.

The 45,000-square-foot Evergy Plaza is slated to open in March 2020 in the shadow of the Kansas Statehouse. A crowning jewel of downtown development, the plaza will feature a 50-foot performance stage, digital screen, programmable fountains, fireplaces and an ice skating rink during the winter.

According to a recent market study, growth in the Capital City shows no signs of slowing down. St. Louis-based Development Strategies says downtown could support expansion over the next decade to include 900 new or rehabilitated housing units, 300,000 square feet of new or rehabilitated office space, 690,000 square feet of retail space and at least 200 more hotel rooms.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Study finds Madison area needs national partnerships to thrive

By Judy Newman

The Madison area is in a lot better shape economically than most other metropolitan areas of the U.S., but to propel the region into a top-echelon position it will take a lot more collaboration, education, investment and promotion, according to a new study.

That could include forming entrepreneurial partnerships with groups as far away as Ann Arbor, Michigan or Pittsburgh, creating a food distribution center that would serve several states, or becoming a hub for industrial hemp.

One of the most important steps will be to find a way to make broadband available to everyone in the region, the study says.

The Madison area has the most diverse economy in the nation and is among leaders in the growth of technology jobs but it is far behind “top U.S. investment hubs such as Austin, Texas, Raleigh, North Carolina, or Portland, Oregon,” according to Advance Now 2.0.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Strategy for future on show for public; Leaders hoping residents will engage with implementation process

Special to The Gazette
May 12, 2019


The public is invited to the rollout of the Halifax County Community Strategic Plan at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at The Prizery when members of the steering committee will introduce key initiatives and tactical recommendations.

The community is invited to attend to learn more about the plan and how to get involved in the implementation process.

“A plan is only valuable when it is implemented,” said Chamber President Mitzi McCormick. “A realistic work plan will ensure that the Community Strategic Plan is activated and sustainable for the next five years and beyond.”

Halifax County began the process of carrying out a community-driven strategic planning initiative on Monday, Oct. 15. Public, private and non-profit leaders in Halifax County have come together around a holistic community and economic development initiative that will help the community achieve a more prosperous and successful future...



To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

When do all of the magicians arrive?

By Chad Willett 

Editor’s note: The following is the last in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative that have been published each Tuesday in the WTE since Jan. 22.

Public drinking, gambling and prostitution; shootings, stabbings and thefts. Does this sound like Cheyenne? Nah, not today, but it certainly was how things were around here in the 1800s.

Populated by characters that will be revered for generations, this city rose out of the ground as one of those shady “Hell on Wheels” railroad towns. There’s a mystique and unapologetic truth to those roots.

But what about the other story that's often overlooked? The story in which Cheyenne appeared so fast, we were dubbed the “Magic City of the Plains”? The story of a rough and rowdy city that, over time, gradually shifted its shape into a social and cultural hub for the area?

That’s the story I dig: The story of the everyday magicians who bettered our community because they were motivated to make a better life for themselves and others.

Back in the day, people viewed Cheyenne, Wyoming, as this magical place to go for entertainment, opportunity and the chance at a better life.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Group seeking volunteers to help beautify Cheyenne

By Kirsten Malm

Editor's Note

The following is the sixth in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative. Subsequent pieces will appear here each Tuesday.

Imagine you are in a city that has more than four museums, 37 miles of paved bike path, an estimated 400 art installations in parks and throughout the city, an increasing number of 100-plus concerts a year, and farmers markets in the summer and winter.

No, this is not Fort Collins, Colorado. This is our great city, Cheyenne, Wyoming!

The Beautification Committee set forth by Forward Greater Cheyenne aims to develop, promote and set in motion strategic programs to make Cheyenne a place where we are all proud to live and work. Through these initiatives, we ultimately hope to bring our community together, enhance Cheyenne’s image, and strengthen resident awareness and engagement in community initiatives.

Our plan is to further encourage collaboration and coordination between organizations involved with community improvement. Our committee will focus on the following strategic initiatives:

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Community must invest in infrastructure

By Tighe Fagan

Editor’s note: The following is the fifth in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative. Subsequent pieces will appear here each Tuesday.

The term infrastructure is a rather open-ended concept, depending on context. According to the Market Street Implementation Plan, which serves as the strategic vision for Forward Greater Cheyenne, infrastructure is narrowed to the following: transportation, housing, military and government, and broadband.

A cornerstone of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative is to leverage what we now have as regional assets and what we can improve in these four aspects in the years to come.

Greater Cheyenne has been a transportation hub, dating back to 1867 during the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad that passes through Cheyenne, and it will continue to be. Rail, coupled with the intersection of Interstates 25 and 80, make our community a linchpin in the movement of people and goods throughout the United States.

We must continue to capitalize on this unique geographic opportunity. There are currently several projects in flight. Front Range Passenger Rail is one such project. This is an effort to alleviate congestion along I-25 and provide for an alternative to automobile transportation. It would also provide improved access to workforce throughout the region for our businesses. This initiative will also have the added benefit of providing easy access to Denver International Airport.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Report says young workers flocking to Spartanburg

By Adam Orr
Staff Writer


Two years into a five-year mission and Spartanburg leaders are already touting the payoffs of the OneSpartanburg plan and promising plenty more to come.

Chief among them? Millennials — which includes workers between 25-34-years-old — are flocking to Spartanburg, according to the group, surging by nearly 18 percent over the past five years.

That’s good enough to rank 8th nationally among small metro areas, according to OneSpartanburg.

It’s a data point Allen Smith was keen to highlight Tuesday, as the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO detailed OneSpartanburg’s second year scorecard at the University of South Carolina Upstate’s Sansbury Campus Life Center.

“In just two short years we’ve made tremendous progress on all fronts,” Smith said Tuesday. “The issues identified in this plan, if addressed, will position Spartanburg for economic prosperity and I think you’re already seeing that.”


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ames: Strong community keeps, attracts new businesses

By Brendan Ames

Generally speaking, communities that are thriving are intentional, collaborative and well-resourced.

The Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative is the cornerstone to ensure the future success of our community. Business Retention, Expansion and Attraction (“BRE”) is one of eight key initiatives identified by Forward Greater Cheyenne aimed to be a driving force of that future success.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush … or so the saying goes. How does this relate to BRE? Various studies have illustrated that the expansion of existing businesses within a community represents between 60 percent and 90 percent of a region’s job creation. The future success of our community is directly related to ensuring we champion the businesses that already call the greater Cheyenne area home.

Our community is very engaged and supportive when it comes to creating a network of people that we can connect with. Businesses trust the strong ecosystem currently in place and rely on each other in our community to be successful.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Report: SVHEC has $66.1M impact on statewide economy

Special to Work It, SoVa

SOUTH BOSTON — The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center had an economic impact of $66.1 million on the statewide economy in fiscal year 2018.

Of that increased economic activity, $57.9 million of it occurred in the Southern Virginia region. These findings are from a newly released report examining the economic impact of the SVHEC on the local and statewide economy.

“We’ve always believed the SVHEC was having a significant economic impact on Southern Virginia, and now we have the data to support that belief,” said Betty Adams, SVHEC executive director. “We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the dollars invested in the SVHEC, and this report shows that the citizens of the commonwealth — especially Southern Virginians — are getting an excellent return on their investment,” she continued.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Weinstein: Enhancing city’s economic future

By Sam Weinstein

Small businesses are the foundation of our national and regional economies and, in fact, make up about 60 percent of Wyoming’s private sector workforce.

Recognizing this, the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative sought to assist this effort on a local level with the Cheyenne Center for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (C2E2). The C2E2 will be the catalyst for small-business growth in our community.

The initial research phase, completed by Market Street Services, revealed that Cheyenne’s entrepreneurial support system is underdeveloped. The Cheyenne community has a breadth of knowledge, support and data available to assist entrepreneurs in starting a business, and for small business owners to attain growth. However, this information lacks cohesion, and the goal of our board is to bring all the information to one location – virtual at first, then a physical brick-and-mortar spot in years to come.

Our aggressive four-part strategy, specified by the Forward Greater Cheyenne plan, includes the following pieces:


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Withers: Wyomingites need more opportunities for degrees

By Kim Withers

Editor's Note

The following is the second in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative…

Successful communities do two very important things.

First, they create a quality of life and sense of place where people want to live. Second, they develop those individuals into a quality workforce and engaged citizenry.

These two goals are at the core of the recently released Forward Greater Cheyenne plan and its eight strategies. I have the pleasure of serving as the strategy coordinator for the plan’s third category, titled LCCC Expansion: Applied Baccalaureate Degrees.

When it comes to workforce here in Laramie County, we have incredible strengths, but also some frightening facts. The community has a strong, middle-skills educated workforce. Not surprising, with LCCC in our backyard. Cheyenne ranks 14th out of 382 metropolitan statistical areas in regard to the percent of the adult population with an associate degree.

However, Cheyenne slides to the bottom, ranking 236th out of 382 for bachelor’s degree attainment. And it’s getting worse. The percentage of our adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher actually declined between 2011 and 2016 in Laramie.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Chen: Get ready to see downtown transformation

By JJ Chen

Editor's Note:The following is the first in a series of eight guest op-eds from leaders of the Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative.

It is an honor to coordinate the acceleration and revitalization of downtown Cheyenne. I am on a quest to promote downtown as an incrementally more amazing place.

Cheyenne’s history is enviable, and our glory days of the past shine a bright path for our future, as well. Downtown Cheyenne is the historic core – and therefore heart – of the City of Cheyenne.

As the heart of the city, downtown Cheyenne’s purpose is to inspire and keep all of Cheyenne alive! It does this by instilling faith, hope and trust, not only in its permanent citizens, but also its many visitors.

We are at the crossroads of deciding what future we want for ourselves. Some desire preserving the feel of a quiet small town, while others foresee the inevitability of measured and tempered growth.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Forward Greater Cheyenne launches community improvement plan

By Chrissy Suttles, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A new association re-imagines Cheyenne as a competitive hub for young professionals – home to a thriving downtown district and new educational opportunities.

Members of Forward Greater Cheyenne, a partnership among local economic development organizations and government officials, revealed plans to meet these goals Thursday.

Priorities include downtown revitalization, Greenway development and Laramie County Community College expansion.

As proposed, many of the projects would rely on city, county or LCCC funds for completion.
Forward Greater Cheyenne was established last year to enhance Laramie County’s Front Range influence. The group hired Atlanta-based Market Street Services to develop community assessments, economic profiles and realistic implementation strategies.

Now, a board of directors, alongside eight community strategy coordinators, will oversee the project’s implementation. 


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Forward Greater Cheyenne Launches Plan for the Future


By Joy Greenwald

Forward Greater Cheyenne has launched a plan to help make the area a more prosperous and vibrant place to live, work and do business.

Community leaders on Thursday unveiled an implementation plan detailing eight strategic initiatives designed to help Greater Cheyenne achieve its vision for the future and provide greater opportunities for generations to come.

The initiatives consist of:

  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Greenway Transformation
  • LCCC Expansion
  • Cheyenne Center for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Retention, Expansion, and Attraction
  • Community Beautification
  • Pride, Engagement, and Attachment
  • Regional Assets and Infrastructure

"Representatives from the private sector, the public sector, our community colleges, the city, the county, our state leaders, have met over the year to collectively develop a forward-thinking plan," said Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Forward Greater Cheyenne launches community improvement plan

By Chrissy Suttles, Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A new association re-imagines Cheyenne as a competitive hub for young professionals – home to a thriving downtown district and new educational opportunities.

Members of Forward Greater Cheyenne, a partnership among local economic development organizations and government officials, revealed plans to meet these goals Thursday.

Priorities include downtown revitalization, Greenway development and Laramie County Community College expansion.

As proposed, many of the projects would rely on city, county or LCCC funds for completion.

Forward Greater Cheyenne was established last year to enhance Laramie County’s Front Range influence. The group hired Atlanta-based Market Street Services to develop community assessments, economic profiles and realistic implementation strategies.

Now, a board of directors, alongside eight community strategy coordinators, will oversee the project’s implementation.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Community unites in Forward Greater Cheyenne initiative

By Mike Williams and Brian Heithoff

While Greater Cheyenne has many positives going for us, we can do better, making our area a more prosperous and vibrant place to live, work and do business.

That is why community leaders joined together in December 2017 to form Forward Greater Cheyenne, a strategic planning process that has involved more than 2,400 people. The effort was funded by various community stakeholders: Laramie County Economic Development Joint Powers Board, Downtown Development Authority, Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Cheyenne LEADS, Visit Cheyenne and many other independent businesses.

The Forward Greater Cheyenne effort has allowed us to unite as a community like never before. People from various backgrounds have brought their expertise to the table, setting aside their differences to develop a consensus vision for the future.

We see Greater Cheyenne as an inviting and exciting community that works together to cultivate engagement and attachment. Our legacy as a cultural anchor of the Western frontier and our emergence as an economic and entrepreneurial engine of the Front Range reflect our identity as a community of pioneers.


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

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Forwarding Greater Cheyenne With Data Driven Actions

Forward Greater Cheyenne announced its community and economic strategies and implementation plan during the Launch event Thursday, January 17th.

Concerned about the future of the Greater Cheyenne area, community leaders formed Forward Greater Cheyenne and embarked upon a strategic planning process to help make the area a more prosperous and vibrant place to live, work, and do business.

To develop a comprehensive plan, Forward Greater Cheyenne Committee hired Atlanta-based Market Street Services to conduct a community assessment to take into account the wants and needs of Greater Cheyenne’s residents, workers, and employers, as well as to develop an Economic and Workforce Profile to provide detailed analysis of the area’s economic and workforce composition. The entire process included input from over 2,400 people in the community.


To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Community assessment of Halifax County: To grow, go bold

By Ashley Hodge

With bold action, Matt DeVeau, project manager of Market Street Services, feels like anything is possible for Halifax County.

This was part of the message he delivered to the dozens who came out to the community meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center Innovation Center.

The chamber of commerce hired the Atlanta-based consulting firm to provide guidance to a steering committee of local leaders working on a growth strategy for the county.

The community meeting was part of a six-phase research and strategic planning process. Previously 1,579 community members participated in an online survey to reveal challenges, weaknesses and strengths of this county.

Interviews with local leaders and focus groups also were held, and DeVeau on Wednesday evening revealed some of the findings from the research.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Education, quality of life gains will set Halifax’s future

By Tom McLaughlin
News & Record

Halifax County is hardly alone among rural communities in the economic uncertainties it faces, but “bold action” will be required if the county is to avoid further stagnation and decline, a consultant told civic and business leaders Wednesday at the SVHEC.

Matt DeVeau with Market Street Services, a nationally-recognized economic development advisory firm, presented the findings of a “community assessment” that is envisioned as the first step in a turnaround plan for the county. The Atlanta-based consultancy was hired by the Chamber of Commerce to provide guidance to a steering committee of local leaders working on a growth strategy for Halifax.

To read the full article click here or email Alexia Eanes.