21 Nov 2017
fyi – GA’s Energy Cities at Work
3rd Quarter, 2017
The economic development playing field is more competitive than ever. New corporate locations and expansions create jobs and expand and diversify the tax base. City councils, development authorities and utility leaders are finding ways to problem solve and eliminate risk for the prospect whom they hope will become a long-term partner. “The antidote to risk is alignment and readiness,” explains Janet Ady of Ady Advantage.
Alignment tells a prospect that everyone at the table is on the same page about incentives, timelines and the definition of business-friendly. It can be a most powerful tool for reassuring prospects about the constellation of business decisions they are about to make about an expansion or relocation. It does in fact help eliminate risk in the prospect’s mind.
Alignment requires that you don’t say we will make things run smoothly and then have permitting, ordinance and zoning regulations that “say” quite the opposite.
A second aspect of eliminating risk is community readiness. “Dirt is not a site,” Janet explains. A community can use site ready designations such as GRAD, here in Georgia. Use GIS documents to provide visual illustrations of the parcel identifying utilities and transportation amenities. In the incentive package, know who among the stakeholders is offering each piece of the ante. Prospects want to hear firm benchmark dates whenever possible. “It will take 40 days to address this issue.” A firm answer sends a decisive message rather than reporting a vague range of dates. Just never intentionally underestimate. Readiness takes a variety of shapes and every step is a measure of commitment in the eyes of the prospect.
Learn more about GA’s Energy Cities in this issue of ‘fyi’ including workforce innovations, Georgia’s wood basket, and Edge Development.