Local Government Economic Development Websites

Take a look at your website, in particular your economic development page. Now take a look at five others. Oh, the design may be different, but for the most part, the content is exactly the same. Those of us in government design these pages based on what we want businesses to know. Have any of us thought about the information for which the site selector/developer/business people may be looking? I thought about this for many years while working as a city manager and community development director. About a year and a half ago, I came up with an idea – sketched it out on a napkin and gave it to my friend Paul who is a programming wizard.

From the napkin came the patent-pending Business Assistance Recruitment Calculator. BARC provides a realtime, online tax and utility information calculator. So what, you might say. After we created BARC, we found a study conducted by Ohio Edison, the Austin Companies and Chabin Concepts in 2007-2008. (http://www.chabinconcepts.com/documents/UserStudy_execsum.pdf )The survey subjects were site selection professionals who use the web to find information for their clients. Here are some of the results of their study:

65% of respondents indicated that they were somewhat to very likely to go to a website showing cost comparisons during a business location project.
57% preferred to obtain utility information online as opposed to contacting the community
55% preferred to obtain property tax information online
45% of users prefer to obtain permitting and fee information online

You can find a live demonstration of the Basic Model at: http://www.cdjconsulting.net/the-business-assistance-recruitment-calculator-©. CDJ is in process of developing three other models, including (1) BARC Basic with breakdowns of water/sewer usage by business type; (2) BARC Basic with a calculator including municipal electric rates; and (3) BARC Basic with permitting and fee information (building, zoning, stormwater, engineering, tap-in fees, etc).
You can call us to find out more information at 330-541-3128 or e-mailing cbowman@cdjconsulting.net. Our regional representatives will contact you to set up installation of BARC on your community’s economic development website.

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About Economic Development Data Services, Inc.

EDDS is a company focused on providing effective, efficient solutions for local governments in the areas of community and economic development and strategic planning. We offer the BARC - Business Assistance Recruitment Calculator - tool and website solutions in developing economic development websites. Our new website is www.econdevdataservices.com
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