2017 IEDC Annual Conference

I arrived in Canada on Friday to participate in the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference.  IEDC will officially convene its 2017 Annual Conference here in Toronto, Ontario this afternoon.  Around 1,300 economic development professionals from around the world have already signed up to attend.  The conference will be a great opportunity to make new connections and learn more effective ways to make communities more successful.

I will be speaking at the conference on Wednesday in the session preceding the site selection consultants forum.  I hope to enlighten and entertain the crowd again this year. (my speaker bio)

Posted in economic development leadership | Comments Off on 2017 IEDC Annual Conference

Dove hunting season or shooting for tourism growth

Looking at the analytics and the number of recent hits related to dove season on this blog this morning, I am reminded how diverse rural tourism can be and how difficult it is for a community’s tourism marketing to be all inclusive.  With the change of focus during my transition, this was the first year in probably at least the last 4 that I did not have a post on this blog about an upcoming dove hunting season, dove hunting fields that are open to the public and places in the community for hunters to dine and shop for supplies.

So, it is a few days late, but here is this year’s information.  Dove season for 2017-2018 opens September 1st at Noon and runs to September 28th.  The season later runs from October 14th to November 5th and from December 8th to January 15th. The location of the TWRA dove fields in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area will be listed on TWRA’s website.  More information on dove hunting in Tennessee, including TWRA public accessible fields across the state, can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Dove Hunting in Tennessee Website.

If your community is motivated to work together to grow your tourism revenues and you need some help, drop us a line.  Those dove hunters may also come back to fish, hike and to buy more experiences and stuff.  And those into ‘antiquing’ may come back to dove hunt (and buy sandwiches and shotgun shells).

Posted in Outdoor sports, rural economic development, Rural Tourism | Comments Off on Dove hunting season or shooting for tourism growth

Disaster and Disruption Planning for Communities and Companies

My thoughts and prayers are with those communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In 2010, I was the economic development director in a county heavily impacted by the “2010 Nashville Flood” during which we received around 20 inches of rain. Later, I moved on to another county in the area where preparing for the next disaster was a significant part of my strategic plan.

However, as time passes, spending time and resources on business disruption planning fades on the priority list. Let’s continue to help out those affected by Harvey, but remember the past and the inevitability of future fury from Mother Nature and Murphy’s Law in our communities when we see those images of destruction and disruption in Texas and Louisiana.

A great resource for disaster or just common-place business disruption (for example, the phone line gets cut for a day) planning is available at no cost at www.restoreyoureconomy.org. The International Economic Development Council, with funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, created and maintains this site with its knowledgeable and experienced staff and members. It provides online training, documentation, planning templates, etc. to make it easier for communities and companies to plan for their next disaster or disruption and to recover as quickly as possible their economy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Disaster and Disruption Planning for Communities and Companies

I put a dollar in a change machine and I didn’t get it

Yesterday, I began a new adventure.  After almost 5 years, I submitted my resignation several weeks ago to leave my position as the economic development professional for a county to become more entrepreneurial.  However, I hope to continue to work helping communities and companies succeed in this arena we call economic development.   After over 20 years in economic development, I am looking forward to continuing to utilize the knowledge and skills I have earned in location decisions, tourism marketing, retail development, strategic planning, labor market evaluation, workforce development, community development and economic development to continue to achieve results for those whom I work.

Posted in economic development expert | Comments Off on I put a dollar in a change machine and I didn’t get it

Workforce development for advanced manufacturing in the Cheatham County region

Last October, I posted on this blog about a LEAP 2.o (Labor Education Alignment Program – LEAP) grant that the Cheatham County Joint Economic & Community Development Board in collaboration with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Dickson (TCAT) had been awarded. (See “Mechatronics Program to Improve Cheatham’s Manufacturing Skills“.)

We have been working hard to implement this program and equipment to outfit the classrooms for the mechatronics program at the high school has been delivered or is on its way.  Conversations with area employers to integrate work based learning are also well underway.  Everything is on track to start the first class this fall and add to our efforts to develop our workforce for good jobs in the future and to support our current and future employers by maintaining a quality workforce.

mechatronics

Posted in Advanced manufacturing, quality labor force, workforce development | Comments Off on Workforce development for advanced manufacturing in the Cheatham County region

Cheatham County May 2017 unemployment rate lowest in nearly 2 decades

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development released labor market estimates for Tennessee Counties for May 2017 on Thursday afternoon.  The unemployment rate for Cheatham County was the 5th lowest of Tennessee’s 95 counties at 2.3%.  That, combined with a high labor market participation rate (see “How do you measure your workforce? ” for more on the participation rate), is a great sign of healthy community economic development.  Out of curiosity, I did a little research to see how frequently that level of employment had been achieved.  I had to dig back into the data almost 20 years to find a lower unemployment rate for May — May 1999 at 2.0%.  For comparison, the unemployment rate for May 2012 was 7.2%.

Posted in economic development, Qualitätsarbeitskräften, quality labor force | Comments Off on Cheatham County May 2017 unemployment rate lowest in nearly 2 decades

2017 Tennessee Economic and Community Development Conference

The 64th Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 26th and 27th, 2017 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials will be attending, including some from Cheatham County.  This is the first time in my economic and community development career that the conference has been held outside Nashville, but this will highlight the fact that Gatlinburg area is open for business after the wildfires of last year. Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Bob Rolfe of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that have earned that status for the year.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

Posted in economic development | Comments Off on 2017 Tennessee Economic and Community Development Conference

Tennessee Reconnect: Help for adults to go back to college

In an effort to help Tennesseans qualify for better jobs and to meet the workforce needs of our employers, Tennessee provides assistance to adults who want go back to school and complete a degree or a technical certificate program.  Tennessee Reconnect and the Middle Tennessee Reconnect Community, which includes Cheatham County, not only offers advice to help plan for completing higher education, but they can help adult learners with financial aid.

Posted in education quality, workforce development | Comments Off on Tennessee Reconnect: Help for adults to go back to college

How do you measure your workforce?

This week, I was compiling some recently released data for Cheatham County and the other 94 counties in Tennessee.  The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by County and Labor Force Estimates for Tennessee were released in the past few days.  Cheatham County’s population increased 2% in the period from the 2010 Census to the July 1, 2016 Population Estimate.  No one could call that wild, out-of-control growth, but I find it especially promising considering the county was experiencing population decline five years ago.

We’ll leave the double-digit population increase celebrations to those sitting in traffic congestion, but I used that hat-wearing-cork-popping time looking at other things the numbers say.  With all the talk (and hand wringing) about workforce, I think one number says a lot about how the county’s population views work and the quality of our labor force in Cheatham County.  I calculated a labor participation rate by dividing the latest county’s Labor Force Estimate by its latest population estimate.  Cheatham County ranked fifth (5th) in the state of Tennessee at 53%.  Our neighbor, Davidson County, is number one at 56%.  For comparison, Lake County is 95th at 26%.

Think about that, even considering young people, retirees, disabled, adult students, prisoners and otherwise unemployables — 53% of the total population are ready, willing and able to work and be included in the official labor force.  And at an unemployment rate of 4.2% in February, most of that labor force was working.

Looking at those numbers, the Nashville Region looks good in labor participation.

Davidson 56%
Rutherford 53%
Cheatham 53%
Sumner 52%
Williamson 52%
Robertson 52%
Wilson 52%
Maury 50%
Dickson 49%
Montgomery 41%

Posted in Plätze für Fabriken mit Qualitätsarbeitskräften, Qualitätsarbeitskräften, quality labor force, workforce | Comments Off on How do you measure your workforce?

The It’s a Wonderful Life EDO

From 642 Tiny Things to Write About**:

Write an alternate ending for It’s a Wonderful Life.

I would like to think that George Bailey takes the excess donations from his friends and funds a formal economic development organization for Bedford Falls.  A few years ago at an IEDC Annual Conference in an Ignite presentation I made on how I use It’s a Wonderful Life to explain economic and community development, I even fantasized that Mr. Gower eventually sold his drugstore to Walgreen’s and used some of the proceeds to create a foundation to support economic development in Bedford Falls.

Almost every Christmas season, we watch the holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, many times on the big screen at our renovated Belcourt Theatre.  I am always reminded (and I’m sure that my wife is tired of my talking about it) that this movie is a story of economic and community development.  George Bailey and the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association were integrally engaged in economic and community development. From recruiting Sam Wainwright’s plastic manufacturing facility, to helping Martini create and sustain his small business, to developing affordable housing to retain Bedford Falls’ labor force, to designing and developing neighborhoods that sustain a thriving community — George Bailey and the economic development efforts of the old Building & Loan made a more wonderful life for the citizens of Bedford Falls.

**As a crutch to help write a blog post that meets my low standards ([1] I enjoy writing the blog post and [2] there is a reasonable chance someone will find it helpful and/or entertaining), I am occasionally using 642 Tiny Things to Write About, a writing prompt book (it gives 642 topics/scenarios and you write a little about it.)  On first thought, what could these 642 topics/scenarios have to do with economic and community development?  But on looking at it a little closer, like everything else, it doesn’t fall far from the the tree we call economic and community development.  On the dedication page, the book promised “(t)his tiny book contains all the ingredients to expand your mind, make time disappear, and supercharge your creativity.”  If it does this for me in writing for this economic development blog, well, then, it was well worth the purchase price.

Posted in 642 Tiny Things to Write About, economic development, Quality of place | Comments Off on The It’s a Wonderful Life EDO

Why Invest in Economic Development

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has published a resource, Why Invest in Economic Development, for members, elected officials and others interested in supporting economic development in their communities.

The federal government has always played a key supporting role in local and regional job creation. Included in this publication are only a fraction of federally funded programs which are leading the way as we work toward our common objective: a stronger, more resilient, more inclusive economy for all. For a modest investment of taxpayer dollars, these programs consistently offer a high rate of return. Equally as important, they are often working in communities and policy areas that might be otherwise overlooked by larger agencies and programs. By targeting specific services, regions or demographics, these examples of federal economic development efforts are able to be more impactful and would not be easily absorbed or duplicated by other agencies. These programs are an essential part of a broader effort to maximize opportunity for every American. Federally funded economic development programs included in this publication are not just worthy of our support, but more so, they should be championed.

To download Why Invest in Economic Development, go to this link:  www.iedconline.org/clientuploads/Downloads/2017_Economic_Development_Brochure.pdf

Posted in economic development, infrastructure, rural broadband, rural development, rural economic development | Comments Off on Why Invest in Economic Development

Tennessee Rural Economic Development Conference

We are looking forward to participating in the 22nd annual Tennessee Rural Development Conference to be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Wednesday and Thursday of this week (March 22-23, 2017.)  The theme is “Rural Renaissance.”

Hosted by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), USDA Rural Development (USDA RD), and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TN ECD), the conference brings together local leaders like those from Cheatham County from across rural Tennessee to encourage, inspire, and learn from each other. The hosts strive to gather expert speakers from across the nation with sessions to cover a broad range of topics important to rural communities from economic and community development strategies to leadership development.

Conference begins at 1:00pm CT Wednesday, March 22, 2017, with registration opening at 11:00am, and ends at 11:00am CT Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Check out the great lineup of speakers and I hope to see you there.

Posted in rural economic development | Comments Off on Tennessee Rural Economic Development Conference

A post with economic development tied to a haiku, it’s true!

From 642 Tiny Things to Write About**:

Write a haiku about your favorite food.

Baloney sandwich
with Coke from a country store
Spring day memories

Country stores, especially those where you can get a bologna sandwich (sliced while you wait in the thickness you want, with cheese if you want, with a slice of tomato if you want, with lettuce if you want, and your choice of Miracle Whip or mustard, are much rarer these days.  Whether you were raised where this was a common lunch with Dad midday of a hard day’s work or if you have never been fortunate to try this local food delicacy prepared served with an experience beyond chain store marketing, there are two notable opportunities on River Road in Cheatham County to satisfy your palate.  Teter’s Market is near the Cheatham/Davidson County line and Lakeview Market & Hardware is a little closer to Ashland City across from Brush Creek Recreation Area (there are fishing piers, boat ramp, picnic tables, restrooms and a playground).  Both can be a destination or a pleasant respite during a car cruise or motorcycle ride in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

**As a crutch to help write a blog post that meets my low standards ([1] I enjoy writing the blog post and [2] there is a reasonable chance someone will find it helpful and/or entertaining), I am occasionally using 642 Tiny Things to Write About, a writing prompt book (it gives 642 topics/scenarios and you write a little about it.)  On first thought, what could these 642 topics/scenarios have to do with economic and community development?  But on looking at it a little closer, like everything else, it doesn’t fall far from the the tree we call economic and community development.  On the dedication page, the book promised “(t)his tiny book contains all the ingredients to expand your mind, make time disappear, and supercharge your creativity.”  If it does this for me in writing for this economic development blog, well, then, it was well worth the purchase price.

 

Posted in 642 Tiny Things to Write About, Qualitätsarbeitskräften, Quality of place, rural economic development | Comments Off on A post with economic development tied to a haiku, it’s true!

Right turn on LOCAL CITIZENS WHO SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STREET

I started this blog on August 7, 2007, nearly ten years ago, and after over 1,100 posts, I still find it a challenge to frequently write posts that meet my standards – that I enjoy writing the blog post and that there is a reasonable chance someone will find it helpful and/or entertaining.  While shopping Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville during lunch hour yesterday, I came across 642 Tiny Things to Write About, a writing prompt book (it gives 642 topics/scenarios and you write a little about it.)  On first thought, what does this have to do with economic and community development?  But on looking at it a little closer, like everything else, it doesn’t fall far from the the tree we call economic and community development.  On the dedication page, it promised “This tiny book contains all the ingredients to expand your mind, make time disappear, and supercharge your creativity.”  If it does this for me in writing for this economic development blog when I can’t think of anything to write, well, then, it was well worth the purchase price.

My first ‘tiny thing’ is “Offer a one-sentence argument for who your city should name its next street after.

My city should name its next street “LOCAL CITIZENS WHO SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STREET” after the local citizens who support economic development by making the city an attractive, desirable place to live, work and do business by not taking up all those parking spaces in front of our restaurants and retail stores, courteously stopping to let shoppers back out of street parking, greeting folks on our sidewalks with a smile and hello, and supporting initiatives that make our city a destination, create a business-friendly environment and sustain a vibrant community.

Posted in 642 Tiny Things to Write About, rural economic development, Rural Tourism | Comments Off on Right turn on LOCAL CITIZENS WHO SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STREET

Happy Pi day!!!

Happy Pi Day!!!

(March 14th, 3/14, the day to celebrate Pi (3.1415926535…), an irrational number.)

Posted in irrational number, pi | Comments Off on Happy Pi day!!!

Business Succession Planning

You’ve heard that saying, “All good things must come to an end.”  That end for a business or organization can be as a result of retirement, passing to another generation, moving on to new adventures or less pleasant disruptions one prefers not to mention.  Whether your business or organization is big or small, wouldn’t it be great to see that it has the opportunity to thrive on with its next caretaker or its operations can cease in an orderly, optimum way, whichever way you feel best.  It is something we all should think about as business people — succession planning. Even as the staff person for this economic development organization, I feel an ownership and I would like my successor to have the best chance at success when I move on. So, why wouldn’t any business owner plan for his kids, or wife, or partner, or whomever to have success with the company?

Some resources:

Posted in agribusiness, Business resiliency, succession planning | Comments Off on Business Succession Planning

Resources for Business in Cheatham County, Tennessee 2017

It is that time of year, my getting around to updating and improving community economic development resources that I didn’t get to during that holiday lull that inevitably never happens.  The thing this time is an update to the Resources for Business in Cheatham County, Tennessee publication that I try to send out to existing industries every year.  Well, almost, as this is my third update.  This year, I also posted it on the Cheatham Connect website under the “Business Resources” tab, so if you are a business looking around during its site selection process, you can see that we don’t forget your needs after you transition from ‘prospective business’ to our ‘business retention and expansion’ program.

Posted in business assistance, business retention and expansion | Comments Off on Resources for Business in Cheatham County, Tennessee 2017

Economic Development Training for Local Leaders

No, Cheatham County is not part of the area served by the Delta Regional Authority, but several counties in southwest Tennessee are.  The following information may be of interest as workshops will be held in all 8 states in the DRA region including a few conducted in Tennessee:

IEDC Training to Help Local Leaders Build Their Economy

In partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will conduct another round of training courses for DRA’s Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities (ECRC) program beginning in February 2017.

These intensive training courses are designed as  two-day classroom-style “boot-camps,” which emphasize the system and practice of economic development in the Delta region, and help community leaders learn more about the state, federal and private sector resources that are available to assist them.

The interactive course provides participants with practical tools and inspiring examples to support critical economic development and resilience activities. Workshops will be conducted in all eight states served by DRA.

“Effective local leadership is crucial to economic development, disaster resilience, and economic recovery activities in Delta communities,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. “Elected officials and community leaders are uniquely positioned to coordinate public resources and agencies to support job creation, act as an effective bridge between the public and private sectors, respond to disasters, and help businesses recover in the event of an economic or natural disaster. This training elevates the capacity and growth potential for the Delta region.”

The first Economic Resilience and Disaster Recovery course will be held in Carbondale, IL, on Feb. 27-28, and hosted by the Southern Illinois Research Center.

The first Economic Development Strategies course will be held in Poplar Bluff, MO, on March 2-3, and hosted by the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

To register for either of these courses, or to access the schedule for surrounding states, visit www.iedconline.org/web-pages/professional-development/training-courses-for-local-leaders/.

Posted in Business resiliency, Disaster planning, Economic Development Training, rural economic development | Comments Off on Economic Development Training for Local Leaders

Nashville area ranks as one of the best places to live

The Nashville metro area, which includes Cheatham County, was just ranked 13th in the “Best Places to Live” by U.S. New & World Report magazine.  Read about what puts the Nashville area on the list of best places on the U.S. New & World Report website, or better yet, come visit and you may think like we do that it is number 1!

Posted in Quality of place | Comments Off on Nashville area ranks as one of the best places to live

Cheatham County, Tennessee Development and Permitting Informational Guide

Well, I know it won’t make any best seller list (because it is FREE to download on our website), but I recently finished a concise book Cheatham County, Tennessee Development and Permitting Informational Guide, which contains information about where to go and who to contact when undertaking residential or commercial development in Cheatham County, both unincorporated areas and in the towns of Ashland City, Pleasant View, Kingston Springs and Pegram.

 

Posted in economic development, economic development presentations, relocating a business | Comments Off on Cheatham County, Tennessee Development and Permitting Informational Guide

Prepare to be Googled

I had a conversation a few days ago with an economic development professional about using technology to promote our communities and to help our businesses connect to customers.  She reminded me of an important point — it is not so important to chase the latest, hottest application as it is to pick one or two or three proven social media/technology platforms and commit to doing them well.  I always suggest the one for a business to look at first is Google.  Google literally puts small businesses on the map and helps them to include accurate information relevant to their customers.  Businesses can go to www.gybo.com to find ways to get their information on the Internet using Google and connect, communicate and do business with their community and customers.

For example, when I first came to work for Cheatham County Economic Development, the Google street view for the office was focused on a spot 30 feet down the street from our front door.  I was able to get that edited and instead of a view looking down an alley appearing on a search for us, our attractive front door is our first impression to anyone that ‘googles’ us.

So, don’t worry if you don’t know that ‘swiping right’ is a good thing, just go get your Google going great and your customers will ‘Like’ you.

Posted in economic development technology, social media, SoMe, technology | Comments Off on Prepare to be Googled

2017 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials (including some from Cheatham County) will be attending the 64th Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 26th and 27th, 2017 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  This is the first time in my memory that the conference has been held outside Nashville, but this will highlight that the Gatlinburg area is open for business after the wildfires of last year. Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that have earned that status for the year.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

Posted in economic development leadership, economic development presentations | Comments Off on 2017 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development

Business disaster planning creates community economic resiliency

In my blog post yesterday, I talked about the fact that the Nashville, TN MSA, which includes Cheatham County, had a high ranking of resilience capacity.  One factor of resiliency, disaster preparedness, is something that has been on my radar for a while.  A great resource for communities like Cheatham County and our partners in the Nashville area is RestoreYourEconomy.org, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and managed by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  According to the website, “RestoreYourEconomy.org provides resources and best practice information for public and private stakeholders who are seeking to rebuild their local economies after an economic disruption, be it a natural disaster or man-made crisis, as well as assisting the business community in preparing for a disruption.  It is a one-stop shop of disaster preparedness, post-disaster economic recovery, and economic resilience resources, tools, event announcements as well as opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups.”

Business Disasters: from zombie apocalypse to our internet is down for a day

As a part of this disaster preparedness for a community, preparing for resilience by planning for business continuity and disaster recovery is also included (visit webpage).  Disasters for business can not only be the obvious flood, tornado, earthquake or zombie apocalypse, but also death or debilitation of key people, computer crashes, broken pipes, cyber-attacks or anything that disrupts business operations.  On the webpage, you will find a link to two (2) free toolkits for small businesses provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).  One is focused on business continuity and the other on business preparedness.  The toolkits contain templates and sample procedures that can be easily customized to a business’ specific needs.

Posted in Business Resilience, Community Resilience, Disaster preparedness for business | Comments Off on Business disaster planning creates community economic resiliency

Cheatham County Region Resilience: ready for economic stress

The Nashville/Davidson County Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a region that Cheatham County, Tennessee is very much a part, ranks high in resilience capacity (ability to bounce back from economic stress) according to the Institute of Govermental Studies at University of California Berkeley. For more information and a map with all MSA’s, check out .

 

Posted in 2010 Flood, Business Resilience, Community Resilience, Disaster preparedness for business, Quality of place | Comments Off on Cheatham County Region Resilience: ready for economic stress

2017 Tennessee Rural Development Conference

The 22nd annual Tennessee Rural Development Conference will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 22nd and 23rd.  The theme is “Rural Renaissance.”

Hosted by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), USDA Rural Development (USDA RD), and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TN ECD), the conference brings together local leaders like those from Cheatham County from across rural Tennessee to encourage, inspire, and learn from each other. The hosts strive to gather expert Speakers from across the nation with sessions to cover a broad range of topics important to rural communities from economic and community development strategies to leadership development.

Conference begins at 1:00pm CT Wednesday, March 22, 2017 with registration opening at 11:00am, and ends at 11:00am CT Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Check out the great lineup of speakers and I hope to see you there.

Posted in rural economic development, USDA Rural Development | Comments Off on 2017 Tennessee Rural Development Conference

Strike a pose…

I was just on the website for Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and there was my photograph showing off my pride in supporting #TeamTN and Cheatham County, Tennessee in economic and community development.  To view a larger version of the photograph, go to the its link here.

 

Posted in Quality of place, TeamTN | Comments Off on Strike a pose…

More additional direct flights from Nashville International Airport

This week, Nashville International Airport announced more direct flights by Southwest Airlines.  In addition to more flights to and from Dallas, St. Louis, San Antonio and Fort Lauderdale, Southwest will begin direct flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in June, a welcome convenience for my travels to the Midwest.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More additional direct flights from Nashville International Airport

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Happy New Year!!!

George Bailey, Economic Developer

This Christmas Eve, we will watch the holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at the renovated Belcourt Theatre.  I am always reminded (and I’m sure that my wife is tired of my talking about it) that this movie is a story of economic and community development.  George Bailey and the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association were integrally engaged in economic and community development. From recruiting Sam Wainwright’s plastic manufacturing facility, to helping Martini in his business, to developing affordable housing to retain Bedford Falls’ labor force, to designing and developing neighborhoods that sustain a thriving community — George Bailey and the economic development efforts of the old Building & Loan made a more wonderful life for the citizens of Bedford Falls.

Hot Dog and Hee Haw, it is a wonderful life. I hope that y’all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posted in economic development presentations, Quality of place | Comments Off on George Bailey, Economic Developer

No one goes downtown anymore, it’s too crowded

As we near the last couple of shopping days before Christmas, this verse of the song of the season Silver Bells came to mind:

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear

Of course, you hear “silver bells!”  But you may also hear in your downtown, “Arrrgh, it’s too crowded, I can’t find a place to park!”

An article from Bangor Daily News contains a lot of the issues of small town and downtown parking problems.  To me, it is a no brainer that business owners and their employees should not take parking spaces that could be filled by their customers.  Yes, customers of big box stores and malls are tolerant of cruising for parking spaces and walking long distances, but a small town downtown has the opportunity to provide a different, better customer experience and that starts with as convenient as possible parking.  Is your rock star parking space worth stifling your town’s retail development?

Posted in downtown retail, retail development, retail marketing, rural economic development | Comments Off on No one goes downtown anymore, it’s too crowded