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Targeting in Economic Development

Targeting is identifying a group of companies a community or a development organization wants to reach.

The most effective targets are those companies with needs and preferences that match the community's resources and strengths. Or in some cases, the community's needs.

Targeting is important to eliminate wasted time and to concentrate resources where they can be most effective.

Targets that are a community's the best "fit" are those that supply what the community needs for economic stability or to complement existing industries and workforce skills.

This helps explain why economic developers should always be assessing their communities. Constant assessment reveals gaps in the economy, areas of economic leakage, and opportunities for growth.

Different communities have different needs and therefore, different targeted industries. The below list of economic development organizations and their targeted industries should give you an idea...

  • The Beacon Council (Miami-Dade Co., FL): Aviation, Banking and Finance, Creative Design, Hospitality and Tourism, Information Technology, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Trade and Logistics
  • Aurora Economic Development Council (Aurora, CO): Aerospace and Defense, Bioscience, Renewable Energy, Transportation Logistics
  • Greater Houston Partnership (Houston- Metro Houston, TX): Advanced Manufacturing and Technology, Aerospace and Aviation, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Distribution and Logistics, Energy, Headquarters
  • Greater Memphis Chamber (Memphis- Metro Memphis, TN): Bioscience, Green Industry, Green Manufacturing, Logistics and Distribution, Manufacturing, Corporate Office, Music and Film and Tourism
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber (Atlanta- Metro Atlanta, GA): Bioscience and Health IT, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Clean Tech, Global Commerce, Sports, Supply Chain and Advanced Manufacturing, Technology, Workforce Development, and Mobility 

Having target industries is essential for communities and economic development organizations to concentrate efforts and build an environment that supports those companies.

By the way, congratulations to the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce for being named a 'Best to Invest' Top Economic Group by Site Selection Magazine!!!









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