EDITORIAL: Site strength

Site Selection magazine again has named the Community Development Foundation one of the 10 best development organizations nationwide, a high-profile citation that catches the eye of other developers and business executives seeking good sites for investment.
The placement is based on the magazine’s own formula:
– Total capital investment
– Investment per capita
– Total jobs created
– Jobs created per capita
– Contributions of the economic development organization toward the attainment of these numbers
– Overall economic vitality
– Depth and breadth of economic strength
– Diversity of industry
– Ability to generate breakthrough deals
– Ability to provide verifiable documentation for all projects.
The magazine’s editors said the rankings “(remind) senior-level corporate executives and plant location decision makers that even in a challenging economy major deals are taking place, creating hundreds and thousands of jobs.”
CDF, at its annual meeting April 30, noted the recommitment of Cooper Tire to remain in Tupelo and add new jobs, assuring its $85 million payroll.
Tupelo is a repeat winner in the development rankings, and is among the smallest cities in the list of headquarters.
“The Top Economic Development Groups of the Year share several attributes,” said Ron Starner, executive vice president and general manager of Site Selection publisher Conway Data, Inc. “Chief among them are an abundance of pre-approved shovel-ready sites, aggressive marketing program, best-in-class customer service and creative incentive packages. Without these tools in your arsenal, it is hard to compete for projects in today’s economy. Companies want the locations that deliver the greatest impact to the bottom line.”
The top U.S. development groups were ranked in alphabetical order: Greater Houston Partnership, Texas; Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio; Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, Sioux City, Iowa; Greater Statesville Development Corp./Mooresville-South Iredell Economic Development Corp., N.C.; Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas; World Business Chicago, Ill.; Cincinnati USA Partnership, Ohio; Indy Partnership, Ind.; Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Pa.; and Community Development Foundation, Tupelo.
The strength in winning placement on the Site Selection list is in the quantifiable results used to make the ranking. It is not a matter of opinion but of objective data.
Part of the award was based on customer service. CDF knows how to handle clients, answer questions, and provide information on which jobs-creating decisions are based.
In a deep recession, all the assets a community can muster are needed to sustain progress. Results may not be as spectacular as a Toyota plant in 2007, but new, good jobs in any measure create good news within discouraging times.

NEMS Daily Journal