Economic Development Training for Local Leaders

No, Cheatham County is not part of the area served by the Delta Regional Authority, but several counties in southwest Tennessee are.  The following information may be of interest as workshops will be held in all 8 states in the DRA region including a few conducted in Tennessee:

IEDC Training to Help Local Leaders Build Their Economy

In partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will conduct another round of training courses for DRA’s Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities (ECRC) program beginning in February 2017.

These intensive training courses are designed as  two-day classroom-style “boot-camps,” which emphasize the system and practice of economic development in the Delta region, and help community leaders learn more about the state, federal and private sector resources that are available to assist them.

The interactive course provides participants with practical tools and inspiring examples to support critical economic development and resilience activities. Workshops will be conducted in all eight states served by DRA.

“Effective local leadership is crucial to economic development, disaster resilience, and economic recovery activities in Delta communities,” said Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. “Elected officials and community leaders are uniquely positioned to coordinate public resources and agencies to support job creation, act as an effective bridge between the public and private sectors, respond to disasters, and help businesses recover in the event of an economic or natural disaster. This training elevates the capacity and growth potential for the Delta region.”

The first Economic Resilience and Disaster Recovery course will be held in Carbondale, IL, on Feb. 27-28, and hosted by the Southern Illinois Research Center.

The first Economic Development Strategies course will be held in Poplar Bluff, MO, on March 2-3, and hosted by the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

To register for either of these courses, or to access the schedule for surrounding states, visit www.iedconline.org/web-pages/professional-development/training-courses-for-local-leaders/.

Posted in Business resiliency, Disaster planning, Economic Development Training, rural economic development | Leave a comment

Nashville area ranks as one of the best places to live

The Nashville metro area, which includes Cheatham County, was just ranked 13th in the “Best Places to Live” by U.S. New & World Report magazine.  Read about what puts the Nashville area on the list of best places on the U.S. New & World Report website, or better yet, come visit and you may think like we do that it is number 1!

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Cheatham County, Tennessee Development and Permitting Informational Guide

Well, I know it won’t make any best seller list (because it is FREE to download on our website), but I recently finished a concise book Cheatham County, Tennessee Development and Permitting Informational Guide, which contains information about where to go and who to contact when undertaking residential or commercial development in Cheatham County, both unincorporated areas and in the towns of Ashland City, Pleasant View, Kingston Springs and Pegram.

 

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Prepare to be Googled

I had a conversation a few days ago with an economic development professional about using technology to promote our communities and to help our businesses connect to customers.  She reminded me of an important point — it is not so important to chase the latest, hottest application as it is to pick one or two or three proven social media/technology platforms and commit to doing them well.  I always suggest the one for a business to look at first is Google.  Google literally puts small businesses on the map and helps them to include accurate information relevant to their customers.  Businesses can go to www.gybo.com to find ways to get their information on the Internet using Google and connect, communicate and do business with their community and customers.

For example, when I first came to work for Cheatham County Economic Development, the Google street view for the office was focused on a spot 30 feet down the street from our front door.  I was able to get that edited and instead of a view looking down an alley appearing on a search for us, our attractive front door is our first impression to anyone that ‘googles’ us.

So, don’t worry if you don’t know that ‘swiping right’ is a good thing, just go get your Google going great and your customers will ‘Like’ you.

Posted in economic development technology, social media, SoMe, technology | Comments Off on Prepare to be Googled

2017 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials (including some from Cheatham County) will be attending the 64th Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 26th and 27th, 2017 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  This is the first time in my memory that the conference has been held outside Nashville, but this will highlight that the Gatlinburg area is open for business after the wildfires of last year. Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that have earned that status for the year.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

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Business disaster planning creates community economic resiliency

In my blog post yesterday, I talked about the fact that the Nashville, TN MSA, which includes Cheatham County, had a high ranking of resilience capacity.  One factor of resiliency, disaster preparedness, is something that has been on my radar for a while.  A great resource for communities like Cheatham County and our partners in the Nashville area is RestoreYourEconomy.org, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) and managed by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  According to the website, “RestoreYourEconomy.org provides resources and best practice information for public and private stakeholders who are seeking to rebuild their local economies after an economic disruption, be it a natural disaster or man-made crisis, as well as assisting the business community in preparing for a disruption.  It is a one-stop shop of disaster preparedness, post-disaster economic recovery, and economic resilience resources, tools, event announcements as well as opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups.”

Business Disasters: from zombie apocalypse to our internet is down for a day

As a part of this disaster preparedness for a community, preparing for resilience by planning for business continuity and disaster recovery is also included (visit webpage).  Disasters for business can not only be the obvious flood, tornado, earthquake or zombie apocalypse, but also death or debilitation of key people, computer crashes, broken pipes, cyber-attacks or anything that disrupts business operations.  On the webpage, you will find a link to two (2) free toolkits for small businesses provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).  One is focused on business continuity and the other on business preparedness.  The toolkits contain templates and sample procedures that can be easily customized to a business’ specific needs.

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Cheatham County Region Resilience: ready for economic stress

The Nashville/Davidson County Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a region that Cheatham County, Tennessee is very much a part, ranks high in resilience capacity (ability to bounce back from economic stress) according to the Institute of Govermental Studies at University of California Berkeley. For more information and a map with all MSA’s, check out .

 

Posted in 2010 Flood, Business Resilience, Community Resilience, Disaster preparedness for business, Quality of place | Comments Off on Cheatham County Region Resilience: ready for economic stress

2017 Tennessee Rural Development Conference

The 22nd annual Tennessee Rural Development Conference will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 22nd and 23rd.  The theme is “Rural Renaissance.”

Hosted by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), USDA Rural Development (USDA RD), and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TN ECD), the conference brings together local leaders like those from Cheatham County from across rural Tennessee to encourage, inspire, and learn from each other. The hosts strive to gather expert Speakers from across the nation with sessions to cover a broad range of topics important to rural communities from economic and community development strategies to leadership development.

Conference begins at 1:00pm CT Wednesday, March 22, 2017 with registration opening at 11:00am, and ends at 11:00am CT Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Check out the great lineup of speakers and I hope to see you there.

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Strike a pose…

I was just on the website for Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and there was my photograph showing off my pride in supporting #TeamTN and Cheatham County, Tennessee in economic and community development.  To view a larger version of the photograph, go to the its link here.

 

Posted in Quality of place, TeamTN | Comments Off on Strike a pose…

More additional direct flights from Nashville International Airport

This week, Nashville International Airport announced more direct flights by Southwest Airlines.  In addition to more flights to and from Dallas, St. Louis, San Antonio and Fort Lauderdale, Southwest will begin direct flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in June, a welcome convenience for my travels to the Midwest.

 

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Happy New Year!!!

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

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George Bailey, Economic Developer

This Christmas Eve, we will watch the holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at the renovated Belcourt Theatre.  I am always reminded (and I’m sure that my wife is tired of my talking about it) that this movie is a story of economic and community development.  George Bailey and the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association were integrally engaged in economic and community development. From recruiting Sam Wainwright’s plastic manufacturing facility, to helping Martini in his business, to developing affordable housing to retain Bedford Falls’ labor force, to designing and developing neighborhoods that sustain a thriving community — George Bailey and the economic development efforts of the old Building & Loan made a more wonderful life for the citizens of Bedford Falls.

Hot Dog and Hee Haw, it is a wonderful life. I hope that y’all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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No one goes downtown anymore, it’s too crowded

As we near the last couple of shopping days before Christmas, this verse of the song of the season Silver Bells came to mind:

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you hear

Of course, you hear “silver bells!”  But you may also hear in your downtown, “Arrrgh, it’s too crowded, I can’t find a place to park!”

An article from Bangor Daily News contains a lot of the issues of small town and downtown parking problems.  To me, it is a no brainer that business owners and their employees should not take parking spaces that could be filled by their customers.  Yes, customers of big box stores and malls are tolerant of cruising for parking spaces and walking long distances, but a small town downtown has the opportunity to provide a different, better customer experience and that starts with as convenient as possible parking.  Is your rock star parking space worth stifling your town’s retail development?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Mechatronics Program to Improve Cheatham’s Manufacturing Skills

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) announced that the Cheatham County School District will share in a $400,000 grant through the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP).

The grant will allow the school district to fund the equipment and training needed to incorporate a mechatronics technology program at Cheatham County Central High School.

Cheatham County Joint Economic & Community Development Board collaborated with the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Dickson (TCAT) to complete the application and will continue to partner with the TCAT, Cheatham County Schools and area employers to create and sustain a successful program.

The grant is one of 12 statewide that was recently announced by Gov. Bill Haslam.  More detailed information may be found at this link.

Posted in quality labor force, workforce development | Comments Off on Mechatronics Program to Improve Cheatham’s Manufacturing Skills

IEDC 2016 Annual Conference

I will be leaving Tennessee on Friday of next week to participate in the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference.  IEDC will convene its 2016 Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio on September 24th-28th.  Around 1,500 economic development professionals from around the world have already signed up to attend.  The conference will be a great opportunity to make new connections and learn more effective ways to make communities more successful.

I will be speaking at the conference on Wednesday in the session preceding the site selection consultants forum.  I hope to enlighten and entertain the crowd again this year. (my speaker bio)

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Cheatham County tourism up, travel expenditures increased 4.5% in 2015

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett today announced Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time high of $18.4 billion in 2015, up 3.7% over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association.

Here in Cheatham County, Tennessee, we were pleased to see that the report showed that our county had a 4.5% increase in our tourism economic impact of travel, 21.6% higher than the state increase of 3.7%.

For more information on visiting Cheatham County, Ashland City, Pleasant View, Kingston Springs and Pegram  and our tourism information, visit the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce website.

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Places to Dove Hunt in Cheatham County / Nashville Area 2016

Dove season opens September 1st at Noon and runs to September 28th.  The season later runs from October 8th to October 30th and from December 8th to January 15th. More information on dove hunting in Tennessee can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Dove Hunting in Tennessee Website.

If you are looking for a place to hunt, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) manages or leases fields that have been planted with crops doves love.  Some of the most convenient are in Cheatham County, close to good places to eat before or after your successful hunt or places to shop for ammo or supplies like Elks Outdoors in Pleasant View or Ashland City Armory, Farmer’s Co-op or Walmart in Ashland City.

The location of the TWRA dove fields in Cheatham County will be listed on TWRA’s website.

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Cheatham County approves standard business incentives

The Cheatham County Commission approved unanimously an business incentive package developed by the Industrial Development Board of Cheatham County (IDB).  Developed with assistance from the Cheatham County Joint Economic & Community Development Board and the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce, the business incentive package will allow the IDB to offer those tax abatements for existing and relocating businesses making capital investment and maintaining jobs in Cheatham County.  For additional information, check out the article on The Tennessean‘s website or view the IDB’s Pilot Incentive Guidelines.

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2016 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials (including some from Cheatham County) will be attending the 63rd Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 27th and 28th, 2016 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in downtown Nashville. Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Randy Boyd, will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that have earn that status for the year.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

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Happy Independence Day!!!!

Wishing you a safe and happy celebration of the 4th of July!

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Learn about tuition assistance for Tennessee adults

Tennessee Reconnect and the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology will be hosting TCAT Scholarship Saturday on April 2, 2016 from 10:00 to 2:00 o’clock at most of the TCAT locations.  This is an opportunity to learn about the Tennessee Reconnect grant and how it can cover the cost of tuition for eligible adults.

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Happy Pi Day 2016!!

Happy Pi Day!!!

(March 14th, 3/14, the day to celebrate Pi (3.1415926535…), an irrational number.)

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2016 Tennessee Rural Development Conference

The 21st annual Tennessee Rural Development Conference will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 29th and 30th.  The theme is “Rural Communities: Preparing for a Sustainable Future.”

Check out the great lineup of speakers and I hope to see you there.

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Cheatham County Industrial Park earns AT&T Fiber Ready designation

As part of AT&T’s continuing efforts to drive economic development and investment in Tennessee, company representatives, elected officials and members of the Cheatham County Joint Economic and Community Development Board announced on February 26, 2016 that the Cheatham County Industrial Park in Ashland City, Tennessee has been designated as AT&T Fiber Ready. (check out the article in The Tennessean newspaper.)

Not only is this an asset for the few vacant properties in the industrial park, but also exiting businesses in the area benefit from the ready availability of high speed broadband internet access via fiber optics.

The Cheatham County Industrial Park is located on Highway 12 less than 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

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Broadband Access Survey

Due to the importance of this initiative in our expanding broadband availability and technology utilization, I would like to remind everyone in Tennessee to complete the Statewide  Assessment of Broadband Access and Usage in Tennessee.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced earlier this year (news story) the launch of a statewide assessment of broadband access and usage in Tennessee.  For this initiative, it is important for them to receive as much information from individual households and businesses as possible, so I encourage everyone to take the survey at www.tn.gov/broadband.

Broadband availability is better in Cheatham County than in most rural areas, but I still hear comments about dissatisfaction with broadband service and see businesses that could better utilize technology.  This assessment could be a step toward bringing better service and more utilization to under served areas of Tennessee.

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Space Odyssey

This article from Bangor Daily News contains a lot of the issues of small town and downtown parking issues.  To me, it is a no brainer that business owners and their employees should not take parking spaces that could be filled by their customers.  Yes, customers of big box stores and malls are tolerant of competing for parking spaces and walking long distances.  a small town downtown has the opportunity to provide a different, better customer experience and that starts with as convenient as possible parking.

Posted in shop local, small business | Comments Off on Space Odyssey

Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development launches statewide assessment of broadband access and usage

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today (news story) the launch of a statewide assessment of broadband access and usage in Tennessee.  For this initiative, it is important for them to receive as much information from individual households and businesses as possible, so I encourage everyone to take the survey at www.tn.gov/broadband.

Broadband availability is better in Cheatham County than in most rural areas, but I still hear comments about dissatisfaction with broadband service and see businesses that could better utilize technology.  This assessment could be a step toward bringing better service and more utilization to under served areas of Tennessee.

Posted in broadband, rural broadband | Comments Off on Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development launches statewide assessment of broadband access and usage

It’s a Wonderful Life, the Holiday Story of Community Economic Development

Watching the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday tradition for a lot of us. We just saw a Christmas Eve screening of it at Belcourt Theater tonight and was reminded how much George Bailey and the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association were involved in economic and community development. From recruiting Sam Wainwright’s plastic manufacturing facility, to helping Martini in his business, to developing affordable housing to retain Bedford Falls’ labor force, to designing and developing neighborhoods — George Bailey and the economic development efforts of the old Building & Loan made a more wonderful life for the citizens of Bedford Falls.

Hot Dog and Hee Haw, it is a wonderful life and I hope that y’all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Small business development, looking back to see ahead

It is that time of year to look back and reminisce.  In my job, that also applies.  I have begun working to update our Business Resource Guide that I developed and send out to our industrial companies every year.  I am also working on improving and updating our  information on starting and growing a small business in our area of Middle Tennessee.  Doing some benchmarking to get ideas from other communities doesn’t make me feel any better — it just confirms how constant change is and how difficult it is to stay current with information and connecting with entrepreneurs.  Stay tuned, it is my pre-New Year’s resolution to build on  our resources and better connect with those starting or growing a business.

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