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BBA Economic Digest: Commitment Proves Value

Commitment Proves Value Something that I tell all economic developers: To be effective and relevant, you must be committed -- committed to the future, committed to the customer, committed to your mission and committed to a process of continous improvment. Commitment proves the value of your economic development organization in changing lives, which is what the profession should be all about. And it is value that gives life to an EDO. It prompts your customers to tell stories about you, for you, which is powerful, powerful stuff. My advice: Instead of telling customers how great you are, address their triggers, motivations, wants, and needs. Demonstrate how your organization provides a

BBA Economic Digest: A More Localized Approach

A More Localized Approach More reshoring is likely, but it won't come cheap, according to a new report from Bank of America. Foreign firms looking to move their manufacturing processes outside of China in the wake of coronavirus could face $1 trillion in costs over five years. Economic developers take note: Even before the pandemic, BofA’s survey of global analysts found that companies were shifting away from globalization and towards a more localized approach when it came to their supply chains. BofA Head of Global Research Candace Browning said Covid-19 has catalyzed the reversal of a decades-long shift in manufacturing from the U.S. and Europe to China. “While Covid has acted as a

BBA Economic Digest: Whoppers and Supersized

Photo by Marty Sellers | sellersphoto.com Biggies, Whoppers and Supersized Some very large projects were announced this past week, ranging from $830 million to $150 million. For future reference, I'll refer to capital investment projects above $100 million as "Biggies," $500 million and above as "Whoppers" and $1 billion and above as "Supersized." The first is actually a continuation of a Supersized one already in the works. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, building a $1.6 billion auto assembly plant in Huntsville, said it was upping its investment a year before production is expected to begin. The Japanese automakers, who formed a joint company in north Alabama, announced the increased investmen

BBA Economic Digest: The Good and the Bad

The Good and Bad It may be the norm for some time to come -- office workers logging in from their living rooms. And while it may be good for some, it's not for all. The changes that have remote work accelerating “are a disaster for low-skilled labor and could be a good thing for high-skilled labor,” Gerald F. Davis, a professor of management and sociology at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business told the New York Times. A more remote, transactional relationship with employers may promote companies’ use of contractors — which can be more lucrative but less stable for the people accepting such work. When workers are spread out, they may have a harder time sharing information,

BBA Economic Digest: He Asked

He Asked An accomplished economic developer, one whom I respect, asked for my take on whether he should consider taking a job as a site selection consultant. He also asked about the biggest changes facing businesses with site selection in a post-COVID world. Note that I do not identify myself as a site consultant, but more of an economic development consultant. But he asked, and so I responded with a rather blunt assemement. "By and large, I see the site selection process as being corrupt. It will remain that way so long as consultants base their fees on a percentage of the incentives awarded and/or accessed. That represents a clear conflict of interest as the consultant is in the posi

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