A Vision For The Future
The purpose of the Aspire Vision for the Future Campaign, was to raise a minimum of $3 million in five-year pledges and limited in-kind services. As of September 2010, the campaign reached a total of $3.5 million in pledges. The funds will be used to underwrite the operations, programs and services required to implement the recommendations of the Strategic Economic Development Blueprint, to be executed from 2009-2014. Investors include businesses and organizations that will benefit from Aspire’s efforts and most investors are located in Montgomery County. Private sources will underwrite the majority of the campaign total. Aspire works to steadily increase growth in all areas of the Partnership, including the Industrial Development Board, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce.
Funding allocated by the Aspire Clarksville Foundation helps to provide the means to actively pursue recruitment opportunities and market the viable economic infrastructure that Clarksville-Montgomery County has to offer. In FY10 the foundation helped to accomplish the goals in each of our sectors; Marketing and Communications, Global Business Development, Tourism Development and Community Development.
Marketing and Communications
The Aspire Foundation funded, in large part, Web site redesign for all Economic Development Council (EDC) agencies was a significant upgrade in the web-presence of the EDC and its partners. Four new sites were developed that offer not only improved eye-appeal but also greater functionality to management, our community, and even the world. These collective sites will prove to be the ideal platform to host branding and education initiatives. Some of the new features:
•More eye-catching design
•Better content management tools
•Click tracking tools to evaluate marketing efforts
•More images and videos
•New communication methods via social networking tools
•Updated content for our marketing efforts
Global Business Development
Foreign Trade Zone
This initiative involves establishing Clarksville-Montgomery County as part of a regional Foreign Trade Zone with the federal Foreign Trade Zone Board. Once fully established (expected in FY11), existing and potential industries could realize millions of dollars of tax and investment benefit. A study is currently underway to determine the potential economic impact. This will be another feather in our community’s cap as we enter into the global marketplace.
Photovoltaic Energy Industry Recruitment
The Foundation was able to fund several initiatives aimed at recruiting industry complimentary to the new Hemlock Semiconductor plant. Such efforts included prospect travel and staff participation in several conferences including,
•TEP Renewable Energy Technology Conference
•TEP Renewable Energy World Conference
•Solar International Symposium
Recruitment of Business and Industry in Targeted Sectors
Several initiatives were designed to connect our community with targeted sectors were executed in FY10. Participation in economic development conferences and organizations like Corenet, SEDC, Janus Economic Forum, Expansion Management Roundtable, NAIOP, Medical Device & Manufacturing Trade Show, and Partnership 2010 enable the EDC to market the community to a wide variety of prospects in our targeted sectors. These type marketing efforts are expected to produce activity in the targeted sectors of the Strategic Blueprint.
The Foundation, along with the State of Tennessee, funded the advertising and marketing efforts of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The ads were run in a wide range of publications ranging from Better Homes and Gardens to Budget Travel. The combined advertising circulation reached well over a million households. As a result of this marketing campaign, 28,314 requests for information were received from potential visitors. The Foundation provided the postage to respond to those request with promotional material.
Tourism Recruitment - High Economic Impact Events
The Foundation helped to fund the recruitment of three national sports tournaments, including the American Fastpitch Association National Softball tournament, which resulted in over a half-million dollars in revenue for the community. These three tournaments collectively attracted approximately 7,428 visitors that deposited an estimated $1.36 million in direct revenue into the community with an estimated $131,700 in local tax revenue, including an estimated $98,700 designated toward community schools.
Group Tour Recruitment
The Foundation funded several initiatives aimed at recruiting group tour interest in the community including hosting an event for group tour operators. For FY10, the CVB was successful in group tour recruitment with an estimated economic impact of over a million dollars.
One major focus in economic recruitment is generating interest in Clarksville-Montgomery County by the retail and restaurant sectors. The Foundation helped fund attendance by community leaders to two conferences of the International Council for Shopping Centers. Delegates were able to market Clarksville-Montgomery County to over 100 developers thus gaining 15 prospects and 8 site visits. This year, after three years of initiatives, the announcement of the addition of the 73,000 square-foot Madison Street Commons to the community was a triumph for the retail sector of Clarksville-Montgomery County. The addition of the shopping center, which will be anchored by Publix Grocery Store, was also an economically beneficial way to utilize the former Gateway Hospital property.
The addition of Hemlock Semiconductor to our community will change the landscape of our community on many fronts. To help prepare for smart change, the Foundation sent a delegation of 22 community leaders, including elected officials, regional planning representatives, business owners and developers to Greenville, SC. Since the construction of the BMW plant in 1992, the Upstate region of South Carolina has grown immensely. The addition of over $1 billion worth of salary dollars helped expand both Greenville and Spartanburg Counties. It was projected that for every job at the BMW plant, 4.3 jobs were created elsewhere. Greenville saw that there was a need to create an atmosphere where people could live work and play and with that their historic downtown was revitalized to be an area full of local flavor and an ideal place to live, work and play. The kind of economic advancement that the Upstate has seen in the past 15 years is the same situation that can be expected for Clarksville-Montgomery County.