A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the changes that many cities have made after being rejected by Amazon for its coveted HQ2 project. Apparently, Cincinnati and Sacramento are investing in workforce development programs while Orlando is creating a fund to invest in local start-ups. While many cities probably didn't enjoy getting the call, go on Amazon for doing it. These rejected cities will be better off for it. Read the full article here.
You often learn more from the projects you lose rather than the ones you win. Regardless of winning or losing it is important for economic development organisations to strive for the continual improvement of the local economy. This mindset is similar to the ‘Kaizen’ philosophy championed by Toyota for continuous improvement. In the economic development sense, we should always strive for improvements to local infrastructure, workforce and business networks. Through making the local economy stronger, you will make it more attractive for investment from businesses outside the area as well as local start-ups.
With limited budgets, the important thing to do is to prioritise improvements based on both short and long-term aspirations as well as local competitive advantages and the opportunity to generate meaningful local employment.