Monday, April 27, 2009

Economic Development Allies Part 2

Following up on the last post, here is part 2 of the economic development allies list:

  • Governmental (Local) Mayor, council, County Judge, Commissioners, planning commission, fire, police, sheriff, city/county engineer, appraiser, assessor, librarian
  • State groups Municipal League, Texas International Partnership
  • Labor Unions, Workforce Commission, labor council, ABC
  • Advice, business plans SCORE, SBDC
  • Local Districts Drainage, Emergency Services, Soil and Water Conservation, MUD, river authorities
  • Industry & Business Particularly hospitals, car dealers, insurance, bankers, manufacturers etc. (Plant Manager, Human Resources Director, Purchasing Agent, Trainers)
  • Support Industry Engineers, architects, planners, distributors, equipment suppliers
  • ED associations IEDC, state ed group, SEDC, ACCRA
  • Realtors Local Realtors, SIOR, Board of Realtors, BOMA, NAIOP, CCIM, University real estate centers.
  • Environmental State environmental department, EPA, Parks and Wildlife, Sierra
  • Club, Corp. of Engineers, local air quality organization
  • Legislature & Congress Senators, Representatives, staff
  • Developers & Builders Contractors, developers, ABC, AGC, support industry (HVAC,
  • plumbing, electrical, concrete company etc.)
  • Education School districts, trade school, university, college, industry training staff, Extension Service
  • Service Clubs Rotary, Kiwanis, Junior. League, Jaycees, Knights of Columbus, etc.
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • Trade Associations Forestry Association, Chemical Councils, Plant Managers Association
  • Tourism State tourism groups, regional, Convention and Visitor's Bureaus,
  • Consultants ED, business, financial, accounting, site selection

I think that most folks don't sit down and count their allies like this. Ideally, your email contact list has them all in categories such as this.

--steve buser

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who you gonna call?

Who are your Economic Development allies?

You may be surprised at how many people you have helping you in your ED work.

I once did a flyer on that very premise. Called "Who Are Your Allies the flyers listed more than 25 categories of allies. If I rewrote that today, I bet I come up with more than 50 categories. The longer you work in this business, the bigger you network gets. That just because it seems that every project has a different set of allies on the team.

That's not to say you don't have your standard allies you call on all the time. But, rather that each project calls on you to dig deeper into your community resource base.

So, here is the start of that list. If it seems a little "Texas" sounding, that is because that is where I was working at the time with Gulf States Utilities, the electric supplier in Southeast Texas.

News media Television, radio, newspaper, magazines, local home pages,

Trade publications: Plant Sites and Parks, Area Development, Business Facilities, etc.

Advertising Agencies, Billboards, trade publications

Regional Planning Commission, Council of Governments

State Agencies State Economic Development Office of the Governor, State Comptroller, Agriculture Department (state and federal), (In Texas) the Railroad Commission, Highway Dept. , Attorney General, state education agen, Public Utilities Commission, Forest Service, General Land Office, state Water Board, stateParks and Wildlife (your agency titles may vary.)

Utilities Electricity, gas, phone, pipelines, city water & sewer department, private water and sewer, Internet provider (ISP's), Cable TV

Transportation Railroads, airports, airlines, ports, truck lines, bus lines, freight forwarder, express services, barge lines, ship lines

Business Groups Chambers, ED corporations, state and national chambers, foreign chambers of commerce, minority business councils,

Finance SBA, EDA, SETEDF, and banks, revolving loan funds, FHA, State Bond Commission, bonding attorneys, consultants

Federal Agencies Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce, Dept. of Agriculture, SBA, Dept of Education, FHA, U.S. Forest Service, NOAA, USGS, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Commission, OSHA, Customs, Post Office, Federal Reserve, DOE, FTC.

We'll cover more in a future post.

--steve buser

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Just a little extra from my files. This was on the a Norwegian cruise ship east of the Yucatan near Cuba last year.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Unemployment and homeownership

Ever move to a new city for a new job?

Chances are if you did move, you did it in your younger years.

I'm in the process of that now, moving to New Orleans for a new job and I am finding that its a lot easier to do when you're young -- less to move, less attachments, less memories to have to weed through, before you own your own home .... you know what I mean.

It's a lot of the reason that the older we get, the less likely we are to move. And why places that have low job growth tend to have a concentration of elderly. The younger population moves on to new jobs, and with few jobs locally, there is no pressure for other young people to move in.

The elderly have little or no pressure to work and find new jobs and so they stay put. The percentage of elderly grows and grows in the low job growth area (or areas with declining job numbers).

So now comes a new study that says homeownership has a lot to do with the unemployment rate. The higher the homeownership rate the higher the unemployment rate.

To me it means that if the workforce has reasons to not be mobile (homeownership here, but there may be other things), more and more of those workers are going to get "comfortable" in places where there is not a job for them.

Homeownership makes us less mobile. It can cost thousands of dollars to move from one home we own to another in another city. Homes can be a 30-year decision. Apartments are a decision for the next 6 months or 12 months or the like.

So people on the fringes often choose unemployment -- those that are near retirement, those with health issues, those with home duties for the family etc.

Check the link at

There are a lot of implications for economic development here. That I know of, nobody in the past ever suggested that homeownership rates and unemployment rates were linked. And if we thought about it, we always thought homeownership meant more jobs.


Get ready for the subtle here.

Link unemployment with homeownership. But don't link jobs with unemployment -- they're not the the same thing. And they are not the opposite.

If jobs are available, unemployment means someone can't or won't go take one. And the homeownership link is showing us that it's a lot more complicated than we would like it to be.

But I can tell I lost you on that last point. Tell you what, you go check out the link above and we'll come back to that last point in another post.

-steve buser

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Starting out

Just setting things up. Will be back

--steve buser