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Economic and Community Development

Chambers... Still on Top

Ian Scott on Friday, June 14, 2013 at 6:00:00 pm 

It’s like deja vu. Late last spring I wrote a blog post praising chambers of commerce and their affiliates for dominating the list of top performing economic development groups. A year goes by and I’m writing practically the same blog post.

When Site Selection magazine released their Top Economic Development Groups of 2012 as the featured cover story for the May 2013 issue, chambers once again dominated.  Congratulations to:

  • Austin Chamber of Commerce
  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Economic Futures Group at the Spartanburg Area Chamber
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber
  • Mobile Chamber of Commerce
  • Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
  • Siouxland Initiative at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce 
  • Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance

That’s right folks, 8 out of the top 10 economic development groups in the country are chambers of commerce or are affiliate entities housed at chambers.  The dominance continues in the second 10 where half are chambers of commerce or similar private sector lead regional entities.

  • Cincinnati USA Partnership
  • Dallas Regional Chamber
  • Greater New Orleans Inc.
  • Indy Partnership
  • Nashville Area Chamber

What’s the basis for all this recognition you ask? Well it’s pretty rigorous. Here’s how Site Selection describes the ranking process:

“As in past years, the top performers were evaluated on a variety of criteria, with four objective measurements counting the most: jobs, capital investment, jobs per capita, and investment per capita. In addition, Site Selection looked at creativity of economic development strategy; depth and breadth of project activity; ability to generate breakthrough deals; and the ability to properly document the contributions of the economic development organization to actual project results.”

Objective criteria, creative innovation, breakthrough deals and documented leadership… if you want to model the best in economic development, you have to look at chambers.

Tags: business attraction, Economic Development, EDC Division, rankings

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Chambers Lead Rankings

Ian Scott on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 1:45:00 pm 

Once again, chambers of commerce and their affiliates dominate the list of top performing economic development groups. This month, Site Selection magazine released their Top 10 ED Groups of 2011 and 6 out of 10 (including the top 3) are members of ACCE member chambers.  Congratulations to:

  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Dallas Regional Chamber
  • Greater Houston Partnership
  • Nashville Area Chamber
  • Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
  • Select Greater Philadelphia

Rankings are based on jobs and capital investment generated by corporate facility projects on a per capita basis, as well as creativity in strategy, depth and breadth of project activity, and the ability to generate breakthrough deals.

I don’t typically pay much attention to top ten lists. Many rely on weak (if not faulty) methodology, and are little more than gimmicks to lure readers and advertisers (read where ACCE’s Mick Fleming stands on ranked lists).  However, I pay attention to this one because it sends an important signal about the power of private sector led economic development.

Tags: Economic Development, EDC Division, rankings, site selection

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