NGage Notes 1/28/15
24 Apr 2015
In January, Beatrice received recertification through 2019, in the Nebraska Economic Development Certified Community Program from the Nebraska Diplomats and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The NGage office led the efforts in the recertification application. Even though it was a challenging task, it was worth the effort in a number of ways. For one, it recognizes that the City of Beatrice in a joint partnership with Gage County and other county villages is investing in an organization that has the task of leading economic development work here. The certification exemplifies that Beatrice is ready to respond to businesses and industry that call this home or have an interest in moving here.
The economic development recertification application process included many facets where we looked back on what has changed and progress that has taken place since the 2009 certification. It also made us look ahead and share information about strategies and goals moving forward. The process provided a great learning opportunity for NGage. We had several organizations helping with the application, including assistance from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, partners from the Nebraska Public Power District and Black Hills Energy. Special thanks to Tobias Tempelmeyer, Beatrice City Administrator and Sheena Larsen, NGage executive assistant, for their help with the application. The Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce staff provided great help too as we looked back through their records of businesses that have started and grown here in recent years.
Criteria and topics included in the Certified Communities Program upon which we were judged included, website and collateral marketing materials, infrastructure, information on available sites and buildings, plans and activity in business retention, a long-range strategic and funding plan, current labor information, program evaluation, quantifiable results and collaborative efforts and partners.
It is very important in today’s economic development arena to have a strong web and marketing presence. Our website had to be up to date and dedicated to economic development along with an informational portal that tracks available sites and properties. NGage uses the Location One (LOIS) service link to our website as that portal. It was definitely a huge plus that the NGage board made the decision early on to utilize a web development company, Golden Shovel, with a focus and expertise in designing and supporting economic development organization websites. In addition, it was integral that NGage had prepared a strategic plan with the assistance of Smart Solutions. Ongoing reports based on the use of the plan helped provide the needed information for the recertification process.
As we gathered quantifiable results from 2010 forward, we can see that progress has occurred with jobs. There were 3 new manufacturing businesses that located in the community/county with 77 jobs created from those businesses. Forty-nine new small businesses were created with 142 jobs created as a result of these small businesses. Nine businesses expanded with 299 new jobs created as a result of these expansions. Even with some major company closures and the loss of 350 jobs from those closures, expansions and new businesses starting offset the job loss by a positive net gain of 168.
After having gone through the recertification process, we have a better idea of expectations and criteria in measuring success. Keeping plans and benchmarks in place and positively working hard in public-private partnerships across the county in economic development is what it’s going to take!
NGage Executive Director