April 30, 2014

Curb appeal - A necessary component to business attraction


In the past few years our city government has put in place codes that prevent homeowners/renters from parking on the grass and keep their properties neat and clean in appearance.  As a homeowner, I can understand why this may be a source of heartburn.  However, I am in agreement with these types of codes. Let me explain why.  

The Chickasha Economic Development Council (EDC) has been working diligently to attract both retail and business/industry to our community. These types of projects can take years to come together.  The initial project goals we have set include housing and retail as well as recruiting quality jobs.  Our first housing development will be breaking ground this summer, and we are now working on a gated community.  Within a few months dirt work and construction for numerous projects will be beginning.  

Although projects are in the works, competition is beyond stiff and there are thousands of communities similar to ours trying to attract the same projects. In order to win, a community must stand out from the rest in a positive way.  I have attended countless community and economic development conferences during my years in this business, and the common denominator is this-you must have a neat and clean community whose pride is reflected in its curb appeal to attract business, industry and retail.  The communities that do this rise above the others and prosper.

What do newcomers to our community see?  What impression do we make?  Let’s say you are about to invest 10 million dollars into a new plant to produce airplane parts.  A site search is conducted and two communities have the perfect location for your business and similar incentive packages.  The first community has numerous houses with junky, overgrown yards and cars parked in the yard.  The second community has clean, neat homes throughout, no matter what neighborhood you drive through, and no cars parked on the grass.  Which are you going to choose?  You will choose the community that takes pride in its self and is neat and clean.  This is true for retail development as well. 

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