Creative Blog

A Career in Economic Development is One Way to Positively Impact Your Community – an MPA Student explores a career path in economic development

Creative EDC Intern Rylee Govoreau explores economic development with three professionals at different stages in their careers. Pass this along to a young person you know who may be interested in a career in economic development. As with every other industry, economic development is facing the silver tsunami. We should all be proactive in recruiting bright young people to our field. ~ …

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Why Child Care Should Be Part of Your COVID-19 Recovery Strategy

By Lisa Finaldi Lisa is the Community Engagement Leader at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. The COVID-19 crisis has made crystal clear the vital role that child care and other parent supports play in getting our economy back on track. Even before the pandemic, 99 of 100 counties in NC were already child care deserts …

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A Small, Rural County Making a Big Difference in Workforce Development

A Case Study of Abbeville County’s College Promise Scholarship Program Abbeville County not only has big ideas, they make them happen. The rural county of approximately 25,000 people raised funds that allow every high school graduate to earn a degree at Piedmont Technical College. This has impacted education, workforce development, business development, and opened many …

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BRE Amidst COVID-19: Business Impact & How to Reshape Your BRE Program

With nearly 100% of companies reporting being impacted by COVID-19, EDOs are reshaping the BRE program to meet unprecedented needs. Virtual BRE visits, increased information sharing, financing programs, and revisiting incentive compliance are just a few changes being made to BRE programs. By examining business impact, precautions being taken, and assistance needed, EDOs can gain …

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Incentive Agreement Compliance During COVID: Q&A with Azad Khan, Consultant, Parker Poe Consulting

Due to the economic cliff most businesses fell off of in March, some will not meet the performance milestones set out in incentive agreements negotiated years before. Are communities being flexible on incentive compliance, and if so, how? We asked Azad Khan with Parker Poe Consulting this burning question and others related to incentive compliance. …

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Top 10 Skills Economic Developers Should be Honing Right Now

“What skills should I be learning right now?” is a question we have been asked by several economic developers. We have all been thrown into a new work environment that requires a new set of skills. We believe virtual meetings, collaboration, and site visits are here to stay to some degree. Companies and organizations have …

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Q&A With Data Science Expert Dr. Bonny McClain

Dr. Bonny McClain will present on ‘Data Visualization and Data Literacy’ at the 2020 WEDN Conference. She is a sought-after collaborator as a data analyst, data literacy and fluency coach and consultant as well as a healthcare journalist and advocate. Bonny is a member of the National Press Club, 500 Women Scientists, Association of Healthcare …

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Transforming Waynesboro’s Gateway – 2019 Creative Give Back Project

One of the biggest assets in Waynesboro is East Main Street/Hwy 250, which connects downtown Waynesboro with the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, and Appalachian Trail, three nationally-known and visited outdoor destinations. Waynesboro was selected as the 2019 Creative Give Back winner because connecting downtown to these assets, via what we called the Gateway …

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Show the Value of Your Project

In times of competing priorities for limited public investment dollars it is more important than ever to articulate a project’s value. When economic developers want to communicate value clearly and objectively, economic impact analysis is a way to convert the potential for positive economic outcomes to precise dollar figures and employment numbers. It can illustrate …

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Succession Planning as a BRE Tool

There is a vacant storefront up Main Street from our office in downtown Elkin. The retail store was a staple on Main Street for many years. It closed when the owner retired. We’re hearing this same scenario played out in communities across our market area whether a Main Street business or locally owned manufacturing company. …

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Creative Economic Development Consulting