Posts Tagged ‘Trends Articles’
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 (www.growfl.com) 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…)
The concepts of economic gardening are becoming more influential and pervasive in the economic development field. A large number of economic gardening projects have sprung up in municipalities all over North America in the past year or so. Beyond municipal boundaries, initiatives are being announced at regional, state/province and even federal levels that have the stamp of economic gardening on them. What we’re seeing, in fact, is economic gardening sprawl.
You can see it in Michigan. The state has become a leading proponent of economic gardening, with Governor Rick Snyder enthusiastically cheerleading. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has an active economic gardening program and has been pursuing initiatives that, while not carrying the economic gardening label, are closely related to it.
Economic gardening helps to foster an entrepreneurial culture in communities and create jobs. There is a great deal of evidence to support this, such as research that found that companies participating in Florida’s economic gardening pilot program each created an average of 5.2 new jobs within the first 18 months.
What has not been documented so well, but is becoming apparent, is that economic gardening strengthens the capabilities of economic development organizations and helps them build stronger ties with their business communities.
In economic development, knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have of your economic region, its companies, issues, strengths, weaknesses and prospects, the more power you have to help that region prosper.
This concept has been behind the growth and success of economic gardening for more than two decades. Economic gardening employs data-based strategies, techniques and tools to help existing companies within a community to grow. It focuses on building three main elements for companies and communities: information, infrastructure and connections.
Where does information technology fit into a marketing strategy to build or revitalize a prosperous downtown?
Everyone agrees that infrastructure, events and arts & culture are critical to the success of a mainstreet. Unfortunately, just because you built it doesn’t necessarily mean people will come. A strong marketing and communications program is required to involve the community, and that’s where technology cannot be overlooked. Surprisingly, many downtown marketing organizations do not make use of modern communications technology despite their ubiquitous presence in society. Many do not even have websites.
There is a tremendous opportunity for such communities to improve their fortunes. One small step at a time can make a difference if the proper strategy is in place. Communications technology can provide the tools that pull your story together and channels to allow your messaging to reach your audiences.