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The Hottest Trend in Economic Development Fundraising

By Rick Kiernan Convergent Nonprofit Solutions www.linkedin.com/in/rickkiernan/ I’ve been raising money for chambers and economic development organizations for nearly a quarter of a century. For the first 15 years of my fundraising career, those capital campaigns primarily funded new business attraction strategies. Recruit a company to town, and new jobs and capital investment follow. Everyone …

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2019 Salary Survey

Salaries and bonuses are up and more people got raises, according to the recently released 2019 North Carolina Economic Development Salary Survey. Ensuring your organization has a competitive pay and benefits structure is critical to recruiting and retaining talented people. With the new survey results and comparisons to national data, you can be confident you …

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2019 Creative Give Back Winner Is…..

The winner of the 2019 Creative Give Back is the City of Waynesboro, VA. Their proposal is to creatively link the city’s cultural and economic offerings with the natural splendor of Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The four-mile connecting corridor faces numerous redevelopment challenges such as vacant properties, blight, and lack of coherent development …

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Making Blacksburg Sticky for Young Professionals

We love studying millennials. Their economic and leisure preferences are interesting and how they are shaping the workforce is fascinating. So, when the Blacksburg’s Creative Give Back application to re-energize the Young Professionals Program was selected as the 2018 winner, we were totally stoked! It offered us an opportunity to take a deep dive into …

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Get Rid of the Annual Performance Review: Use Radical Candor or 4:40 Continuous Feedback Strategies

New ways of work need new standards for communication and feedback. Instead of the (dreaded) annual review, progressive workplaces embrace more frequent – if not continuous – feedback in order to drive employee satisfaction, management leadership, and ultimately company goals. Old-style annual performance reviews can bring a feeling of dread for both participants. It may …

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Summer Reading

Since the warm weather greeted us early this year, we have been plowing through some summer reading and are ready to share recommendations with our colleagues. Preferences for reading material are as varied as vacation spots, so our list is lengthy and diverse! If you are reading to expand your potential at work and in …

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So You Think You Know WorkKeys?

Earlier this year, I was in a CTE (Career and Technical Education) meeting. We were talking about WorkKeys.  Like many of you, I’ve talked about WorkKeys since WorkKeys came out. For the first time, however, I thought about whether I really understood WorkKeys. That day, I decided to test my perceptions. Two months, six tests, …

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What Is Your Entrepreneurship Strategy? Alamance County Knows

Small business is big business to most communities, but how do you know if it is a worthwhile economic development strategy for your community? The Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce answered the question by evaluating the small business and entrepreneur (SB/E) ecosystem. They assessed whether there is an opportunity to increase start-ups and help …

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Make Safety a Priority

Economic developers take on so many roles, chauffer, travel guide, tour leader, and often spending considerable time with strangers. Working with visiting prospects at short notice is actually the goal of many local and regional economic development programs. Combined with what are often small staffs and long distances, safety protocols is a topic that warrants …

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WEDN 2018-The Best Year Yet

More than 100 economic development professionals participated in this year’s Women’s Economic Development Network forum making it a huge success. We reinforced the tagline of WEDN – Learn and Lead – with programming on leadership, career pathways, and forward-thinking presentations on talent, placemaking, and entrepreneurship.     This may have been our best year of …

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Amherst County, VA is the First Certified Entrepreneurial Community® in Virginia

Amherst County’s vision is to create a community culture that serves as a magnet and a support system for people starting and growing businesses. Amherst County launched  into the Certified Entrepreneurial Community® (CEC®) Program in October 2016 with a community entrepreneurship retreat at Sweet Briar College.  Over the next 14 months, the CEC® Leadership Team, …

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Giving Back to Downtown Revitalization

The enthusiasm behind the City of Graham’s application is what made them the 2017 Creative Give Back winner. Graham asked for our help in developing a framework for the implementation and operation of a Community Development/Revolving Loan Fund and programs to support entrepreneurship initiatives. One goal of our Creative Give Back program is to work …

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Holly Springs, NC is now a Certified Entrepreneurial Community®!

Town leaders gathered Monday, October 23rd at Bass Lake Park in Holly Springs to celebrate the accomplishments of their entrepreneurial leadership team over the past year. Creative EDC officially certified the Town as entrepreneur-ready. The team’s vision for Holly Springs is to create a town culture that attracts and supports people starting and growing businesses. …

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