By RDG CEO Clint Nessmith
“No one is an island. All these entities that drive economic development are interconnected in one sense or another”
Happy New Year from all of us at Resource Development Group! I am excited about 2023 as our firm enters the new year with a lot of momentum and a REALLY strong team. We look forward to continuing to work with our clients around the country as they tackle new opportunities while operating in a potentially more economically challenging environment. As I gaze into my crystal ball, I would like to prognosticate on what I believe will be some of the biggest areas of focus for the chamber and economic development industries this year.
Identifying Remote Worker Solutions: I had the pleasure of attending a Charleston Regional Development Alliance Quarterly Investor Briefing a few months ago. The biggest take away for me from the panel at the event is where we are today on remote work is not where we will be two years from now. Will we ever go back to 40+ hours in office? No, that genie is out of the bottle. However, the panel was predicting that we will likely see most companies embrace a hybrid approach where employees are expected to be in the office some of the time each week. Why? Employers are figuring out that fully remote workers tend not to be as bought in to the organization’s mission, values, and goals, as those who spend time in the office. However, the challenge is making time in the office a valuable experience, and what qualifies as a valuable experience varies by person. Chambers and EDOs will be looked to for sharing of best practices and ideas as companies grapple with these decisions.
Enhanced Focus on Business Retention and Expansion: The United States may not take as significant of a ding during the projected upcoming global recession as other countries, but there is a chance that a slower global economy could negatively impact project pipelines. In this environment, EDOs will wisely elevate existing business retention and expansion outreach. Taking care of the companies in your own backyard and doing all you can to ensure they are operating in an environment that allows them to be competitive, will lead to new opportunities for your organization down the road.
Pursuing FDI Opportunities: While project pipelines may narrow, there will still likely be significant opportunity to attract FDI from Europe as companies deal with an energy crisis, and Asia as companies hedge their bets about China potentially flexing its military might. EDOs will increase their trade missions in these geographies in 2023 to get a slice of the pie.
Reinforcing Value Proposition: With over 1.5 million non-profits registered in the US, competition for dollars is already fierce, even when the economy is strong. In an economic environment that might be deemed to be more challenging by some, industry leaders will find they are spending extra time and resources reinforcing the unique value proposition their organization provides to investors and stakeholders to ensure revenue is not negatively impacted by more conservative budgets. Chambers and EDOs conducting fundraising campaigns will have an edge here as reinforcing the value proposition is built into the process. Organizations that prioritize investor engagement in 2023 will also be well positioned.
If we can help you think through a fundraising campaign, investor engagement enhancements, or industry best practices, please reach out to me at (912) 536-2609 or at email@example.com. I’d welcome the conversation.
All of us at RDG wish you and yours much luck, success, and happiness in 2023, and we hope to see many of you at IEDC’s Leadership Summit in late January.