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How Competitive Are We?

Invite_Economic Analysis (2)The greater-Spokane region frequently competes against cities and states across the nation for jobs and business investments. GSI’s business recruitment and retention efforts create economic impact by keeping existing businesses and bringing new business to our region. In order to be most effective, we need to determine how competitive our region truly is when it comes to creating a thriving economic environment, and that’s why we’ve recently embarked on a three-phase competitive analysis of our business climate.

Why does this matter to your business?

  • Creating more jobs through expansion and relocations means more people working and more dollars circulating through the community – something that has an impact on nearly all businesses from day care centers and appliance stores to CPAs and landscape companies.
  • Commercial construction projects put even more people to work; some may be your customers or your suppliers.
  • Success breeds success: We seek companies that can do well here. They tell others about their success and recommend the Spokane region as a great place for business, and a great place to live!

So, in the middle of January we brought economic development and site selection experts from TadZo to town to begin the assessment of our region’s competitiveness. Phase I was an evaluation of 10 key factors considered important to job attraction. Using a variety of criteria to rate each factor, the TadZo consulting team visited with approximately 40 individuals and organizations in the community, as well as conducting additional desktop research.

On January 16 our consulting firm presented to a large group of stakeholders and community leaders their findings through a Competitiveness Report Card. This data and information is meant to prompt actionable solutions that will increase our competitive edge – and make the greater-Spokane region a better place for you to do business.

The Report Card sets a baseline in knowing strengths and deficiencies, using the following letter grades:  A = World Class competitive advantage; B = Competitive, but missing key elements; C = Neutral, found in many communities; D = Fundamental assets to attract industry are missing; F = Disadvantages so great it could be a “deal killer”.

We rated as follows:

  • Sustainability = A
  • Location = B
  • Transportation = B+
  • Incentives = D
  • Real Estate = D
  • Business Climate = C
  • Utilities & Infrastructure = B+
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation Resources = B
  • Human Capital: Skills, Talent Relocation, Pipeline = A
  • Permitting & Regulatory Environment = A

The next phase will move into assessing our business case versus our competitors’. Phase III will give us a set of actionable recommendations on how to improve our deficiencies and case.

Stay tuned: We’ll be communicating future findings as we progress through the completion of this study, and we’ll explain why we received the grades we did.

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