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.