New Marketing Group Starts in N.C.By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 30th, 2013
A North Carolina electric cooperative and local economic development leaders are joining forces on a new marketing alliance to attract jobs and businesses to an up-and-coming area near Charlotte.
“We have this great area with incredible infrastructure and a great quality of life,” said Tim Holder, vice president of economic development at EnergyUnited, based in Statesville.
However, the region, located less than an hour north of Charlotte, has yet to reach its full potential, said Holder. So the co-op and five regional development agencies have formed the Lake Norman Region partnership, with a goal of promoting development surrounding the state’s largest manmade lake with 520 miles of shoreline.
By combining resources on programs and promotions, partners will seek to work with developers, site consultants and brokers to showcase the lake area and create a brand identity for it. Projects so far include a website, and a dinner cruise, “get-to-know-you event” for developers in mid-September.
“The goal is to increase awareness of the unique assets in our area. By working together we can maximize effectiveness,” said Ryan McDaniels, executive director of Lake Normal Regional Economic Development Corp., one of the partners.
Besides promoting the area as a recreation and tourism destination, regional leaders also are promoting the area’s corporate potential. Rubbermaid and Lowe’s Companies have corporate offices in the Lake Norman communities of Huntersville and Mooresville. Apple has a $1 billion data center near Lincolnton, another lake community.
Pooled assets that would likely drive growth, said Holder, include regional airports in Statesville, Lincolnton-Lincoln County, and Hickory. Other incentives include open space, affordable land and rail-served industrial parks.
Alliance members hope that in five years its efforts will pay off in more jobs and investment. “Our bottom line is about improving the quality of life and helping our members,” said Holder. “Even if the new business isn’t our member, a rising tide lifts all ships.”