Community Review/Resource Mapping
Our Community Review/Resource Mapping is an abbreviated, lighter version of our BBA Action Plan minus certain components. However, it affords economic developers an excellent way to better leverage a community's capabilities through an unvarnished assessment of its strengths and challenges.
The process begins with on-the-ground observations and off-the-record interviews with community stakeholders. No one will be quoted or identified in our subsequent report.
We answer the question, “Where are we now?” by identifying a community's competitive advantages juxtaposed against factors that can keep it from realizing its full potential.
Determining community strengths includes cultural, economic, technological, intellectual (talent) and physical assets, all of which are critical in developing a vision for growth and developing a process of continuous improvement.
Focusing only on community strengths, however, allows local policymakers to avoid some uncomfortable truths that need to be addressed to establish a pathway for economic growth.
Our purpose is to identify building blocks that can be leveraged to create a favorable environment for capital investment and job creation and to develop a brand promise.
In every community, there are public and private entities that provide services which can aid or be an asset to economic development.
For example, it could be a community college that offers vocational education/training or a bank that provides Small Business Administration lending.
Knowing who does what and “mapping” those resources or assets within a community is a valuable tool for investment attraction, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurial development.
Our on-site Community Review interviews will reveal many of those resources, which will be followed by the creation of a digital resource guide that can show all the moving parts in a community or region pertaining to economic development.
We work with our strategic alliance partner ExecutivePulse to formulate these digital guides, which can be used in a variety of ways. And because this is a software solution, the EDO can edit and change the information and generate board-ready reports in Pdf, Word, Excel or PowerPoint formats.
In short, the digital mapping of resources within a community can serve as a powerful marketing tool for existing industry support, business attraction, and/or entrepreneurial development.
“Entergy Mississippi recently partnered with Will Coppage, Executive Director of the Washington County MS Economic Alliance to have Dean perform a SWOT analysis for their community. Dean's background as an investigative reporter and newspaper editor in his early career provides him with unique skills that enable him to take hours of interview data from disparate sources and weave it into a coherent narrative that gets to the heart of a community's strengths and weaknesses.
"Dean then delivered a very detailed, well thought out report that made recommendations for how the community could move forward with some easy wins as well as to address critical structural issues that were much longer term in nature. He is also always eager to continue conversations after a project is completed. I highly recommend Dean to any community seeking a plan for improving the economic vitality of their area.” -- Ed Gardner, Jr., CEcD, EDFP, Director of Business and Economic Development, Entergy Mississippi.