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BBA Digest: An Exodus in the Making?

An Exodus in the Making? Speaking with a small town economic developer recently, he said he would be shifting his marketing efforts based on the fact that some tech companies say they'll let a portion of their employees work from anywhere. There's some evidence that the efforts of smaller cities might be working. Zillow and Redfin are both reporting spikes in single-family home searches in smaller cities, according to the Wall Street Journal. We're also seeing smaller cities offering cash stipends to attract tech workers -- Savannah, Georgia, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Topeka, Kansas. just to name a few. Heck, the entire state of Vermont. But workers may be unwilling to leave the major metro

BBA Economic Digest: Think Vibrancy

Think Vibrancy The No. 1 factor in downtown development, as I see it, is economic vibrancy. You've got to develop a dynamic sense of place for people to want to come downtown to do business. Certainly, you want a downtown that physically looks good -- and there are various ways to do that -- but it goes farther than that. To create a healthy, vibrant downtown -- one that people will want to frequent -- you've got to develop diverse set of small businesses that lend character to the place, and then you have to take measures to grow and protect them. Said my friend David Thornell, president and CEO of C3 of Northwest Alabama: "Just as talent recruitment and retention has become essential f

BBA Economic Digest: Creating Opportunities

Creating Opportunities On Aug. 5, 1864, a union fleet commanded by Rear Admiral David Farragut entered heavily mined Mobile Bay in Alabama. When one of his ships struck a mine and sank, Farragut could see his other ships pulling back. Lashed to the rigging of his flagship, USS Hartford, Farragut called out, "What's the trouble?" "Torpedoes", was the shouted reply. (Naval mines during the Civil War were called "torpedoes.") "Damn the torpedoes," Farragut yelled. "Four bells, Captain Drayton, go ahead. Jouett, full speed." Farragut's eventually fleet triumphed over the defending confederate forces in the Battle of Mobile Bay. So what can we learn from this? The truth is we rarely have

BBA Economic Digest: We Are Better Than This

We are Better Than This “The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, and whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. … One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet free from the bonds of injustice, they are not yet free from social and economic oppression. And this nation for all its hopes and all its boasts will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.” – President John F. Kennedy, June 3, 1963 "And for those who have been talking about protests, just remember, this country was fo

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