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.