The various areas of analysis available to a community are only useful to the degree they provide insight and comparisons to the competition. Analyzing demographic, economic, and industry information from successful communities provides a framework for assessing the performance of a given region’s economic development efforts.
Greyhill assists communities by preparing a comprehensive asset inventory that benchmarks the performance of a region’s economic and demographic assets against those of select competitor communities or regions. We work closely with our clients to select other regions that will serve as accurate benchmarks. During the selection process, it is important to include regions that are peers (communities of similar size and level of development) and regions that are leaders (communities that are further advanced but that serve as aspiration models).
When performing the competitive assessment, Greyhill leverages its site selection experience to look at those factors that particularly influence the investment decisions of site selectors and expanding businesses.
Our competitive benchmarking analysis leverage data collected during the assessment, including but not limited to:
- Population and population growth
- Industry cluster composition
- Economic growth
- Average wages and income
- Cost of living and housing costs
- Labor availability
- Educational attainment
- Economic development efforts
- Cost of doing business
In addition to the quantitative analysis, our process provides additional insights into the qualitative factors that influence how a community compares with its competitors. To do this, we rely heavily on supplying information on the best practices of leading communities and our own experience working with successful regions. A number of factors contribute to how well a community performs versus its competition, including:
- The effectiveness of the Economic Development Organization – budgets, staffing, structure, roles and responsibilities
- Level of engagement of partner institutions
- Economic development funding – resource levels, structure and sources of funding
- Identification of visionary regional initiatives and the ability to execute