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The CERC Blog features topics about research, marketing and business development topics related to economic development, including monthly letters from our President and CEO.

Supply Chain - The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly effect: A property of chaotic systems (such as the atmosphere) by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system. - Merriam-Webster dictionary

Recently, vanilla bean prices have soared in the U.S, after a cyclone hit the tropical island off the south-east coast of Africa. “Seventy-nine percent of the world’s vanilla fields are in Madagascar. A shortage there has helped drive up the cost of vanilla beans from about $11 per pound in 2011 to $193 by the end of 2016”, according to CBS News.

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by Mia Ying  |    |  Comments 

Emotions are Key Decision-Makers

How do you feel about emotional messaging?  Do you think that positive messaging is better received than negative?  What if I told you it wasn’t – that actual data supports that we process negative emotions more easily than positive ones – how does that make you feel?

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by Kristi Sullivan  |    |  Comments 

Partnerships are an Instrumental Component for Achieving the Economic Growth We Seek

This month I had the benefit of meeting with the inaugural companies of Connecticut’s InsurTech Accelerator program, and attend the first DEMO-Day which represented a book-end to their 16-week Startup Bootcamp experience. An initiative that marks the first of its kind in the state, this program, [which connects investors, industry professionals, and other resources with entrepreneurs] reflects how the state’s existing assets serve as a foundation for many innovative companies seeking to develop and scale their businesses.

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by Erron Smith  |    |  Comments 

Collaboration at Work

I am honored to serve on the Working Cities Challenge Advisory Committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  We had our latest meeting yesterday and were joined by the five cities in Connecticut that were chosen to participate for the next three years in solving problems on the ground through collaborative efforts of cross sectors within their communities. It was also interesting that several of the researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank were there to talk about preliminary research they’re doing on whether collaborative efforts actually result in better economic growth for a region. I’m fascinated by this.

Of course, we believe in Collaboration at Work here at CERC and we really take that very seriously. I think that over the next year or so there are going to be a number of collaborative efforts that might be able to show that through collaboration economic growth is the result. Let me just talk about some of them…

  • We want to convene a cross-sectoral group that’s involved in development from land use attorneys, environmental and civil engineers, commercial brokers, contractors, construction management firms, all to be convened with state and municipal officials to talk about the things that really make economic development happen in our state.  
  • We want to develop a protocol with regional economic development organizations on business recruitment in the state of Connecticut.
  • We want to consciously seek out efforts to work with more than one town so that towns can come together and work on regional economic development issues.  And we want to convene those business service providers that help businesses get information in order to start and grow their businesses.
  • We also want to work with data advocates to make sure we have the best possible data available to support economic development policies.

So as you can see, we really believe in Collaboration at Work and we think that can result in economic growth for Connecticut.

by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

Preparing for Success in Economic Development

I recently attended the Governor’s Economic Development Forum where a nationally-renowned site selection consultant discussed the top factors that company executives evaluate when choosing a locale for the relocation or expansion of their business:

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by Sadie Colcord  |    |  Comments 

Will Rising Interest Rates Drive Down Commercial Real Estate Prices in Connecticut?

In their March meeting, the Federal Reserve Bank voted to raise the target federal funds rate to 1.5-1.75%, with rates expected to climb to 2.9% by 2019 and 3.4% by 2020.1

All else being equal, an increase in interest rates could lead to a decrease in commercial property values. As interest rates climb, the return on alternate types of investments may increase, making real estate comparably less attractive and driving prices down. Additionally, since most real estate assets are financed, a rise in interest rates would increase the investor’s borrowing costs, driving investors to seek either an increase in operating income2 from the property or a decrease in the market value of the asset.

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by Rachel Gretencord  |    |  Comments 

We Become Better without Always Keeping Score

Keeping Score

Been noticing a trend of late with articles, blogs, and studies being written about the essential factors that make entrepreneurs and business leaders, and in turn, their businesses, otherworldly successful. I’ve read articles advocating a 4:00 a.m. daily rise to take advantage of the day’s “quiet time,” and blogs that espouse the 20-step morning routines – complete with grueling workouts and smoothies made from a myriad of superfoods - conducted by leaders of fortune 500 companies. It seems that everyone is searching for that magic formula that, when followed, will deliver Richard Branson, Jack Welch, and Elon Musk levels of success.

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by Rebecca Mead  |    |  Comments 

Being Prepared for the Site Selection Process

CERC, through our collaboration with Department of Economic and Community Development, has experienced an increase in activity with the site selection community. We are working with engaged organizations interested in creating sizable projects in the state of Connecticut. We are beginning to see more and more interest, which we hope, will lead to more investment and more announcements like InfoSys.

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by Jason Giulietti  |    |  Comments 

Regionalization and Collaboration in Economic Development

Hello and welcome to the March edition of the CERC e-news.

Many of you were likely at the Governor’s Economic Summit on Monday.  It was one of the best, I think, that we’ve had since Governor Malloy has been in office, with both his message, and the message from the Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Commission.  Along with a panel discussing regionalization and collaboration in economic development, there was a workshop to talk through some of those issues.  I found that fascinating and those of you who’ve been around awhile know regionalization is something that I’ve studied and advocate.

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by Bob Santy  |    |  Comments 

To Business Leaders Key to Connecticut’s Economic Growth—We Need You

Hartford Connecticut

As announced this week that a team of public and private interests worked behind the scenes for months to recruit Infosys, a tech company based in India, to Hartford. Infosys will open one of its four planned “technology and innovation hubs” here, building a $21M center and creating an estimated 1,000 jobs in the next four years.

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by Patricia McLaughlin  |    |  Comments