A large part of economic development is marketing. In other words: helping businesses understand why they should invest in your community. Why should they relocate their corporate office in your town? Why should they hire 50 people in your city? Why should they open a regional office or a large plant in your area?
Economic developers answer those questions for their respective communities.
And, as is true for any marketing, you need supporting data. Without data, everything is mere opinion. Baseless and unfounded.
Let the numbers tell the story.
Key data on demographics, labor force, education, the marketplace, and types of businesses should be available and visible.
From my meetings with corporate executives, site selectors, and real estate executives this one fact rings true: Data Drives Decisions.