Services - Economic Development Consulting

The Principal of Canup & Associates has always used a coaching and counseling approach in interacting with states and communities when conducting site location studies. This approach is designed to assist states and communities in addressing specific project and client needs, and in being aggressive in pursuing the project. This approach has resulted in many of the participants of a study improving their economic development practices and methods and incorporating new strategies in their recruitment processes. Many states and communities have revised the manner in which they respond to requests for proposals, the manner in which they package their information and data, and the manner in which it is presented to prospects.

Specific economic development consulting services offered by Canup & Associates include:

a. Community Preparedness Assessment

Canup & Associates will visit with an economic development organization and perform an assessment of the preparedness of the organization to respond to an opportunity. This assessment includes:
  • Evaluation of proposed sites, industrial parks, or existing buildings
  • Assessment of water, sewer, gas, and electrical services to the site
  • Assessment of ingress and egress to the site and transportation corridors to and from the site
  • Labor analysis and evaluation
  • Training resources, systems and methods
  • Existing business and industry support services
  • Other factors and activities as may be defined by the economic development organization

b. Staff and Allies Development and Training

Canup & Associates has assisted states and communities in their staff and allies development through workshops, seminars, and presentations. Topics and methods used include:
  • Understanding the site location process
  • Receiving and interpreting a Request for Proposal
  • Responding to mock projects with real information and data
  • Reviewing and critiquing RFP documents and responses
  • Coaching allies on supporting the recruitment process and being prepared to support the economic development organization
  • Conducting workshops for elected officials involved in economic development

c. Reverse Consulting

Canup & Associates offers services to states, regions, and local economic development organizations to perform "reverse" consulting. This service is particularly valuable when recruiting mega projects and competing at a high level against other states. Canup & Associates provides leadership and direction in the following:
  • Understanding and defining the driving factors of the study
  • Developing strategies and methods of responding to the prospect or consultant's requirements
  • Assessing the state/community strengths and weaknesses relative to the driving factors
  • Developing mitigating strategies to address specific weaknesses of the state or local characteristics
  • Providing direction and leadership in the preparation and delivery of proposals and specific information and data required by the consultant or prospect
  • Participating in meetings, workshops, and presentations for the consultant and prospect
  • Performing comparative analyses between the state and local resources and other factors against other finalist states and communities
  • Developing techniques of making sure the consultant and prospect clearly understand the impact of comparative factors where the state or local economic development organizations offer a clear and significant advantage
The most recent experience the firm has had was in support of the State of Mississippi in recruiting the Nissan automotive assembly plant to the state. The firm provided all of the above services to Mississippi, and was successful in helping the state win the project.

d. Competitive Analysis

Canup & Associates can assist states and communities in determining their competitiveness against those locations that they typically compete. The study can be specifically tailored to address different types and sizes of projects. The analysis includes a definition of comparative costs and an evaluation of various incentives, cost offsets, and cost avoidance offered by competitors. Studies of this nature are customized to address specific state or community needs, resources, and attributes, and are not directly transferable or applicable to other locations.

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