April 12, 2021

Economic Development is not for Amateurs!

Key Takeaways from the March Momentum Investor Luncheon

Momentum investors recently gathered for a luncheon event featuring Jay Garner, president and founder of Garner Economics, a global economic development and site location consulting practice, who has been tapped to revise Round Rock’s five-year economic development strategy.

Garner is also co-author of the Amazon best-seller, Economic Development Is Not For Amateurs!, a must-read for community leaders on how to achieve economic development success. According to Amazon, the book shows forward-thinking leaders how to transform economies and supercharge a community’s revitalization effort to attract jobs, investment, and residents.

At the luncheon, Garner presented highlights of the eight-chapter book, offering practical, step-by-step solutions and best practices that Round Rock’s community leaders can implement for long-term economic success. Here is a quick summary:

  1. Effective Leadership = Community Prosperity: The quality of public and private leadership drives economic development success, and it is essential to train our community servants to be effective leaders to build a strong quality of place.
  2. No Product, No Project™: Speed to market is critical since 85% of all project searches start by looking for an existing building. Creating a long-term, sustainable funding source for economic development infrastructure (product) is a recipe for success.
  3. Market Regionally, Sell Locally: Companies look at regions first because of the labor draw, then they focus on the real estate (local). For this reason, it is important that we continue our good relationship with the Austin Chamber and Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC).
  4. Is Your Labor Force Work Ready?: Academia and businesses must be partners (and on the same page) in developing the talent pipeline to fill the skills demand of businesses.
  5. Grow Your Garden: Round Rock’s existing businesses and entrepreneurs are our most important source of job creation leads. In addition, we must continue to diversify our industry sector base to remain resilient during unexpected times or events.
  6. Time Kills Deals: Government is often the great bottleneck of investment, and while regulations are important, they must be continually improved to provide strong customer service.
  7. It’s All About the Brand: Your brand is the foundation of your larger economic development efforts.
  8. Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will: Work in collaboration, but don’t solely rely on others to shape the destiny of your community. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Momentum Investors who were unable to attend the March 31 luncheon can pick up their signed copies of the book at the Round Rock Chamber office. The book is also available to purchase or download from Amazon HERE.

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