RDA Happenings January 2013
Posted on January 1, 2013 – By Emporia RDA
The 2012 Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas (RDA) annual report is now available on the RDA website https://emporiarda.org/pdf/RDA2012AnnualReport.pdf
At the December 2012 RDA Annual meeting, we thanked Board of Director members Mi-chael Lane and Don Hill for serving on the board for the past six years. Their leadership and dedication was appreciated by all.
The new RDA Board members are Mel Scheller, who is the Member At Large elected by the Board of Directors and replaces Michael Lane on the RDA Board. Mike Sikes is the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce appointee and replaces Don Hill on the Board.
Last month it was mentioned that a major commercial retail development was going to an-nounce soon, which was the CVS Pharmacy. The project is acquiring five tracts of real estate generally located west of Merchant Street from 12th to 13th Avenue. It will require a zoning change, and if all the local and state approvals are received, could start construction this summer and open in the fall. It is estimated that the building will be close to 11,000 sq. ft. with a drive-thru window for prescriptions. It will employ several pharmacists, pharmacy assistants and many retail workers with a total employment of 20 – 10 full-time and 10 part-time. Assuming all the necessary government approvals are granted the store could open in September.
I received an email this past week from Economic Leadership Linked In group. The discussion was entitled “Advice from a Site Selection Consultant”. It was an article from Jay Garner, a friend and colleague of mine at Garner Economics, LLC entitled “What is the path from good to great for an EDO?”
Most economic development organizations’ (EDO’s) purpose is to create wealth for the citizens of their respective communities, whether it is in job creation with greater than average community salary increased investment in buildings, which increases the community tax base.
It’s a competitive process in the United States with over 7,000 EDO’s competing for those few projects. Creating economic prosperity requires recruitment, retention, and working to create an entrepreneurial environment along with the effective use of websites as a global portal to introduce their respective geographical locations to the world.
At the January RDA monthly meeting, we began a dialogue about entrepreneurial development. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Flint Hills Technical College and Emporia Main Street have worked on business start-ups, primarily retail and service businesses. Entrepreneurial is a part of the wealth creation for a community; start-ups are high risk with a high failure rate. Most entrepreneurial businesses have a long lead time before a return on investment. Business start-ups should be part of the wealth creation strategy, but not the primary strategy.
There is no question that recruitment and existing business expansions have a much larger return on investment (ROI); i.e., Hill’s Pet Nutrition which was a $200 million investment and the creation of 110 plus jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $4.8 million. It achieves the RDA goals of economic growth, the creation of skilled jobs and significant tax base for the future.