Jeremy DavidsonEconomic Development, Monday Memo

Many of you may not know that our organization is a member of a ten-county association called the Oklahoma City Regional Partnership.   

This partnership is comprised of Economic Development or Chamber of Commerce organizations, Cities, Counties, Utility companies and other entities that undertake the professional economic development activities in their respective communities or regions. 

One of the key benefits of this partnership, is to share our collective expertise and wisdom with each other, and at the same time to provide our prospects with a better perspective of what our region actually looks like.

For those of you who only like to deal in numbers, here are some statistics that may surprise you.  On average each year there are around 250 new business locations in the United States.  80% of those projects land in a major metropolitan area.  That means that in the business of economic development size does matters.

That leaves on average 50 projects each year that land in a smaller community or region.  If we want to attract more companies, we need to be a part of a larger region to allow us to increase the number of “looks” we get from those who will only locate in a major metro area.  

It is no longer a thought that someday we will be part of the OKC Metro, as like it or not, we already are.

This past week our small band of members gathered to discuss what changes we could expect to see in the coming year, share our current challenges and needs, and to plot out a strategy of what we could do to grow the economies in each of our areas, or within the entire region.

We reviewed the projects that many of us had responded to, those projects that were still active, those that were not, along any wins that had recently taken place in the region.

We discussed in great length the struggles we have all had with the online property software tools, that had promised the moon, but didn’t live up to the promises that were made, and what we were going to do next to try to resolve this area. 

Some of the discussions centered around what we could do to attract more interest in our area, and the best practices that we each use to increase our chances to entice more prospects to come visit our area.  

There is no single, guaranteed way to pursue a prospect or to do business attraction. Moreover, it is a series of action steps and calculated measures to increase our odds and opportunities.  

At the end of the day, the more opportunities we have, the greater our chances.  And we are in the business of MORE.