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Posts Tagged ‘Best Practices’

Economic Gardening: Show Off Your Garden

Have you heard of GrowFL?  If you are interested in economic gardening, you almost certainly have.

The Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University o f Central Florida ( has become an integral part of the State of Florida’s economic development strategy.  Created in 2009, it became one of the earliest and most prominent organizations in the post-recessionary movement toward economic gardening.  GrowFL has helped more than 400 companies create 1,400 new jobs statewide. (more…)

Check out the Cultivating and Sustaining your Creative Economy Summit

CE 300x151 Check out the Cultivating and Sustaining your Creative Economy SummitThe Cultivating and Sustaining your Creative Economy Summit is coming up! This two day summit – Tuesday February 28th and Wednesday February 29th – is shaping up to be an interesting and insightful conference with key leaders from across North America speaking on a variety of topics, such as the Honourable Gary Goodyear’s keynote address, “The Role of Government in Growing and Sustaining Your Economy,” and the marketing case studies from Chicago and St. Catharines, “Implementing Inventive Marketing Strategies to Attract Talent and Businesses in Your City.”

Our own CEO, Anya Codack, will be speaking about innovative strategies and tools for economic development in her speech, “Leveraging Technologies to Fast Track and Exceed Your Economic Development Goals” on Tuesday February 28th at 1:30pm. She will also be on the Interactive Industry Panel on Day 2 at 11:30am for the discussion, “Understand the Business Decision: Why Do Businesses Choose One Region over Another and What Can You Do?”

This conference is an opportunity to learn about what’s working (and what’s not!) in cultivating the creative economy. It’s also a great chance to network, exchange new ideas and to hear top case studies and best practices.

Find out more about the conference by visiting and we hope to see you there!


Learn more about Yfactor and how we can help your community grow at

Creative Economy Place Marketing

In a creative economy place matters. Just as infrastructure and taxes are a competitive advantage for classic industrial development, quality of place and lifestyle amenities are competitive advantages to develop the creative economy.
— From “Canada’s Creative Corridor,” a report by the Martin Prosperity Institute to the Eastern Ontario CFDC Network Inc., 2011

Quality of place is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in attracting talented and creative people to a community, who in turn create and attract business investment. Creative people want and need to feel at home and connected to the community, in which they live, work, and play.
— From Elgin County, Ontario, Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2011-14

Competitive advantage for municipal economic development depends more than ever on making connections work.

You need more than data. Your competitors all have data. They all have strengths in one industry or another, just as your community does. They have talented people producing marketing campaigns and administering programs in competition with you, the next county and the next continent. (more…)

Your Economic Development Website Budget

Every economic development website is unique and its budget will depend on the municipality’s priorities and circumstances. Nevertheless there are best practices that can be applied universally to help managers plan their website budgets.

Relate Dollars to Goals

Expenditures must be planned realistically so that the website can be an enabler for your department in achieving its goals. And those goals must be consistent with the municipality’s strategic economic development plan.

Budgets for economic development websites in North America can and do vary by a factor of 1,000 — but a website’s success does not depend as much on the level of investment as on the appropriate allocation of expenditures under the headings of your economic development goals.

Plan for Continuous Improvement

Technology solutions such as websites, by their nature, are designed to grow and evolve. Your economic-development website will require upgrades as new functions and capabilities become mainstream, as your needs change, and as the technology itself changes. It is important to remember when planning your budget that the website will always be a fluid solution, one that requires a continuous improvement (more…)

The Navigation Challenge

How easy or how frustrating a website experience is, is generally determined by how easy or how frustrating the navigation of a website is.

User-friendly navigation tools are more than a matter of aesthetics. To an economic development professional, it can mean the difference between attracting leads and being passed over – even if you don’t know that a visitor has come and gone.

Your investment-attraction website is competing with many others at all times. The majority of initial research by site selectors is done online. Such searches are anonymous, of course, so you will never know who is considering your community and evaluating it. If your website doesn’t do the initial talking for you, you won’t have a second chance.

Site selectors typically look at hundreds of websites at the beginning of their process of elimination to compile short lists. This is much different than practices of eight or nine years ago, before Internet research came to dominate in this field. At that time site selectors may have looked at a couple of dozen potential locations. Today your competition is much wider and stronger.

In addition, the length of time for an initial search has shortened to four to eight weeks from six months or more. This means that economic development professionals need to be ready and armed with more information at all times so they can address initial search (more…)