Portland's Athletics and Outdoor Cluster
When someone says cluster I automatically think high-tech, biomed or alternative energy. But a recent report mapping Portland’s Athletics and Outdoor cluster shows that clusters can blossom in all kinds of industries.
Anchored by Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear, Portland’s Athletics and Outdoor cluster includes 700 firms employing 14,000 with an annual payroll of $1.2 billion. Wages in the sector average more than $80K annually. Those aren’t numbers to sneeze at.
This particular cluster is also interesting because it show that successful clusters are built on existing assets and unique local characteristics.
Learn more about Portland’s Athletics and Outdoor Cluster.
World Cities and Economic Recovery
Looking for a region that has bounced back from the recession quickly? Better look in Asia and Latin America.
Global MetroMonitor, a report released this week by Brooking Institution and the London School of Economics, ranks 150 metro regions from across the world based on gross value added– the value of goods and services produced, – employment and population. Topping the list was Istanbul, Turkey followed by Shenzen, Lima, Singapore, Santiago, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing, Manila, and Rio de Janeiro rounding out the top ten.
Austin, TX is the top American metro region on the list coming in at 26th. Other highly ranked North American regions include Montreal (27), Virginia Beach (36), Dallas (39), Detroit (46) and Nashville (48).
Read more from this interesting report at: Global MetroMonitor: The Path to Economic Recovery
Politics of State Spending Cuts
Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting profile of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour focused on the state budget. During his two terms in office, Barbour has earned track record of cutting spending across the board. He has made cuts six times since 2009. At a Republican Governors Association meeting earlier this month he said, "Anyone who says there isn't a part of state government that can't save money doesn't know what he's talking about."
Barbour enjoys high approval ratings in Mississippi but as the term-limited governor weighs a potential presidential bid a question looms – will his reputation for trimming the fat out of state spending be an asset or liability?
Read more: State Tests Limits of Spending Cuts
Networks Drive Innovation
Practically every region in the world wants to build a research park attached to a university and capture a slice of the high tech, innovation economy. Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization would argue that innovation doesn’t happen that way. It is networks and risk-takers that drive innovation and entrepreneurship, not real estate development.
In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wadhwa argues that, “To boost entrepreneurship, they (regions) need to focus their energy not on infrastructure, but on people.” Here is his shortlist of suggestions to spawn innovation:
- Remove the stigma of failure
- Teach entrepreneurship to students and skilled workers
- Promote immigration
- Deepen networks, locally and globally
- Invest in education
Chambers can play a big part in all of these areas, whether or not they are paid to do economic development.
Thanksgiving messages are often hard to write. In a year like 2010 it should have been a bear, right? Nah! It was easy because . . . well, because I’ve got all of you doing the hard stuff.
Preventing epidemics of fear, seizing opportunities, articulating our shared mission, demonstrating stewardship of your orgs and towns, nurturing talent, handling the loneliness of leadership and, importantly, investing in each other. Thank you for all of it.
Finding things to be grateful for gets especially easy when I see my healthy daughter cuddling my grandchild, who arrived a bit undercooked eight weeks ago. I am eternally grateful for your prayers, which helped get them through the ordeal. Baby Lilah’s fine . . . thanks for asking. Hope those you care most about are fine too. Happy Thanksgiving.
Emotional Attraction = Economic Growth
According to findings from a 3 year study by Gallup, cities that elicit the strongest emotional attachment for residents also had the highest rates of GDP growth. Three relatively subjective qualities – social offerings, openness and beauty – were determined to be the leading drivers of emotional attachment. Here’s how Jon Clifton, deputy director of the Gallup World Poll analyzed the results:
“Our theory is that when a community’s residents are highly attached, they will spend more time there, spend more money, they’re more productive and tend to be more entrepreneurial.”
26 communities with Knight owned newspapers, including Charlotte, Detroit, Lexington, Miami and Wichita, were surveyed for this study.
Find out more at: www.soulofthecommunity.org
Yup, the Culpeper (VA) Chamber Has an App for That
The Culpeper (VA) Chamber of Commerce has become one of the first chambers in the nation to offer the MyChamber application, developed by ChamberMaster. The app can be downloaded, at no charge, from the home page of the chamber’s website. Users can access 16 categories, from dining to shopping to entertainment, and learn about services and destinations in Culpeper. According to the Chamber's Executive Director, Jim Charapich, “It’s basically your chamber in your hand; it’s an easy access way of finding local information." Another bonus to the app, in the opinion of the Chamber's Operations Manager, Debbie Stohlman? “It’s unique in that our members have direct access to it and they don’t have to call us to make changes on their sites. It also allows us to see how active our members are and where their interests are,” says Stohlman. Read more about the app and how the Chamber uses it by clicking here: http://www2.starexponent.com/news/2010/nov/17/chamber-launches-new-cell-phone-application-ar-658363/
The use of smartphone applications by chambers has recently been a popular discussion topic for ACCE's Communications and Marketing Group on LinkedIn. Read what your peers are saying and join in on the discussion here (accessible to members of the Group only): http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1805595
Utah Compact on Immigration
Debate is raging over the Utah Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act (UT-IIEA), a proposal that mirrors the controversial immigration bill that passed in Arizona last year. Highway patrolmen had to break up clashing protestors from both sides of the issue at the state capitol yesterday.
To weigh in on the debate, the Salt Lake Chamber joined forces with other community, political and religious leaders to release the Utah Compact. The Utah Compact is a set of five core principles that supporters believe should guide immigration reform. The five principles are:
- Federal Solution - Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries—not Utah and other countries.
- Law Enforcement - Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code
- Families - We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families
- Economy - Utah is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers.
- Free Society - Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors.
At a public announcement of the Utah Compact last week, Salt Lake Chamber president and CEO Lane Beattie said:
“There is no simple solution with an issue like immigration. Any immigration legislation will have a ripple effect that touches the economy, families and the perception of our state across the world. Crafting a solution that adheres to these five principles will ensure those consequences are considered and that changes to immigration law reflect the values of our state.”
You have to applaud the Salt Lake Chamber’s proactive, public work on this highly charged issue. Read more about the Utah Compact at: www.utahcompact.com
For more about the Arizona immigration bill that inspired UT-IIEA, check out my interview with Tucson Chamber CEO Jack Camper from May 2010.
Business Growth Challenge in South Dakota
The Rapid City (SD) Area Chamber of Commerce posed a challenge to its members – grow!
The challenge is part of new board chair Lia Green’s “Power of One” campaign that encourages each chamber member to create at least one new job during the coming year. If successful, the effort will yield at least 1,150 new jobs for the region.
The chamber has joined forces with the local economic development partnership and small business development center to provide information and access to business and employment growth services. They will also track progress and highlight growing businesses in their monthly print newsletter.
They’re off to a great start with 56 new jobs already. Read more about the program on page 4 of the Rapid City (SD) Area Chamber’s November Investment Report.
This program is a great example of the role all chambers can play in economic development.
Victories to Celebrate
Many chambers were happy when results from ballot measures came in on Nov 3. Here are few reasons for state and local chambers to celebrate:
- Chambers across Florida celebrated when Amendment 4 (Hometown Democracy) failed at the polls. The measure would have mandated voter approval to change city, town and county comprehensive land-use plans, effectively halting growth by bogging down all zoning changes. Read more here.
- In Oklahoma, the chamber community notched a victory when a school funding initiative, referred to as Question 744, was rejected by 80% of voters. The measure would have mandated that the state fund public education to at least the per-pupil average of their six neighboring states. Read more here.
- The Seattle Chamber and other business organizations in the Evergreen State applauded as Initiative 1098, the state’s first income tax measure, was defeated. Read more here.
- Charleston, SC voters joined the chamber in supporting a six year 1 cent sales tax to rebuild and repair public school buildings. Thanks to the chamber’s campaign, the measure passed by a comfortable 64%. Read more here.
- Charlotte, NC voters also voted with the chamber to support three bonds totaling $204 million for transportation, neighborhood improvements and affordable housing. Read more here.
Is your chamber still celebrating a victory at the polls? Leave a comment and tell your peers about it.