We need to start asking, “What evidence do you base that assumption off of?”

Evidence based decision making…….it’s critical. I can tell you that I am scared to death of making gut based decisions. You should be scared of your own gut as well. We are in an era of data driven decision making and there are two types of organizations, ones who use data and make themselves better […]

“If you do not have that, you do not have a site”

A consultant came to a group of legislators and economic developers and preached to the choir. For many it was probably the first time they had ever given thought to their role in sewer, water, electric utility presence. Unfortunately, here in Southern Ohio the same informational gaps exist. This is why I am writing articles […]

Looking to 2019 and beyond

We spent quite a bit of time this year refining our scope of work, examining the areas where we can make the most impact, and considered the larger needs of our community first and foremost. In the past we have been accused, rightfully so, of trying to be too many things to too many people. […]

Opportunity Zones Frequently Asked Questions……and where our zone is?

Q. What is an Opportunity Zone? A. An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. […]

We opened a shop in Belpre………here’s why

When I first arrived back in the valley after a few years away, I was quickly whisked into a committee of concerned and eager citizens from the Belpre Chamber. The Economic Development Committee as they were so called, were the front lines of promoting and attracting business in the community. It wasn’t long after that […]

Critical Path to Site Development Pt. 4: Ease of Acquisition and Incentives

Much is made in the econ dev world of the importance of incentives. In higher, more competitive circles, the discussion usually centers around what incentive, rebate, program the end user got to finalize the deal. The fallout from the Amazon HQ2 process proved as much when immediately following the announcement, the articles about what the […]

Critical Path to Site Development Pt. 3: Site Readiness and Due Diligence

Environmental study Geotechnical study Archeological study Wetlands delineation Endangered species study These five studies are the baseline for any site development program. What may not be pre-requisites for the average land developer, these items are essential in the development process for governmental agencies, outside agencies, site selection consultants and basically anyone else who is interested […]

Brookings Report: Strategies for Left Behind Places

Countering the geography of discontent: Strategies for left-behind places Interesting read on what some scholars at the Brookings Institute believe will assist the “left behind places”. For the record, we are one of those left behind places. Smaller cities below 50,000 persons who have not seen the growth of its metropolitan neighbors. To speed conversation, […]

Interested in taking some of your industry experience to Africa to assist developing nations?

The Appalachian Regional Commission is sponsoring a trade mission to South Africa early next year, and they need businesses like yours to help them achieve their mission. The goal of the program is to assist developing nations and entrepreneurs in developing the necessary skills to grow their operations and give first hand business experience to […]

But-for TIF’s and the City of Marietta Comprehensive Plan

“Reduce or eliminate tax incentives for retail and commercial store development” This was a ringing theme in the 2003 Marietta City Comprehensive plan. Something happened in the process of securing Lowes Home Improvement on the Pike. The statement “unnecessarily sacrificed tax revenues” was used to describe the use of a TIF to assist development. This […]