Nationally recognized site consultant Jay Garner of Garner Economics spoke with more than 80 attendees about Economic Development is Not for Amateurs, the book he co-authored with Ross Patten, the current Assistant Director of Economic Development for the city of Covington, Kentucky. The webinar is part of a series of free webinars NPPD’s Economic Development team is bringing to communities this year.
Designed for policymakers, elected officials and community volunteers, the book explains how to transform local, regional, or state economies and spearhead community revitalization efforts to attract jobs, investment and residents. Offering practical, real-world solutions, Garner and Patten identify the steps that communities of all sizes can implement to create long-term economic success.
During the webinar, Garner covered the major themes of the book, ranging from community leadership to community branding. He emphasized the importance of site readiness, citing that 85% of all project searches start by looking for an existing building. It’s a point he’s so passionate about, he trademarked the term “No product. No project™” emphasizing that you “can’t sell from an empty wagon.”
He stated “You can have the finest community, but if you don’t have the product that allows prospects to select your community, you’re going to get passed over.”
NPPD is helping communities overcome speed to market barriers with its Site Readiness Assistance Program, which awards up to $25,000 in funds for communities seeking to complete the necessary due diligence items to bring sites to market.
Garner also discussed how less populated states like Nebraska need to market regionally and sell locally. He emphasized the benefit of working with NPPD, which has the ability to market regionally, nationally and internationally.
A free copy of the book Economic Development is Not for Amateurs was sent to each community or organization that registered for the webinar.
Response to Garner’s presentation was positive. “I’ve been through many workshops/webinars/conference sessions,” one participant remarked.” This one was ‘real’ and reinforced a lot of things we deal with on a daily basis. I’m going to share this with some of our new city council, county commissioner and board members.”
If you are interested in learning more about this or future webinars, please contact us.