Recap: Joint Economic Development & Legislative Affairs Member Meeting with Tim Nitti, KLG Advisors, December 12, 2013

Posted Date: 
December 13, 2013

December 12, 2013

Guest Speaker:  Tim Nitti, Principal, KLG Advisors (Corporate Location Expert)

The vice-chair of the Economic Development Committee, Bill Robertson, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker. Tim Nitti leads the location practice for KLG Advisors. He provides clients with expertise in developing strategies for leveraging geography to accomplish their objectives and identifying and evaluating potential locations worldwide. Nitti spoke to MCCC members about the current economic development environment, what successful regions are doing and how this region can leverage its assets to attract companies.  

Given the slow steady recovery from the economic downturn in 2008, the economic development environment has changed a lot in the past six years. Communities have responded to this environment in two ways:

  1. There is no activity: therefore scale back economic development efforts and spending
  2. The environment is more difficult: therefore be more aggressive and more strategic about attracting business

A significant change in the decision making process is that most projects are now driven at the C-Level. Executive level decision makers place increased value in intangibles and less value in personal location preferences.

The competition between Montgomery County and Northern Virginia is top of mind for the local business community. However, Nitti recommends shifting the focus to a national level. He said North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and Salt Lake City are examples of locations that are nationally successful in economic development. The Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte areas in North Carolina take a regional approach to attracting businesses.

The best economic development strategy is to differentiate your region from others and effectively market its assets. Montgomery County’s most valuable assets are its talent and university system. Every region has assets and challenges, so it is important to have a compelling value proposition that will convince new businesses that the assets outweigh the challenges. Economic Development efforts are most successful when there is a regional representative that can tell the story and use unique assets to differentiate and sell Montgomery County.

Click here to view the full presentation.

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