The Harlan County Economic Development Authority heard a status report during a meeting on Tuesday concerning a website designed to market Harlan County to companies looking for a place to locate.
Shortly after Chairman Pete Cornett called the meeting to order, he called on Harlan County Economic Development Director Larry Calhoun to update the panel on several ongoing projects.
Calhoun advised a HCEDA website is getting closer to becoming a reality.
“As you know, we’ve been waiting on a grant for that,” Calhoun said. “We can wait no longer.”
Calhoun said he planned on using a collection of existing economic development sites as a template.
“We’re not going to re-invent the wheel,” Calhoun said. “We will put on (the website) what is important. This site is not for the general public, it’s developed so that CEO’s, site selectors and corporate real estate managers can get all the information they need to make a judgment on whether you can be included in their search.”
According to Calhoun, the website will include information on Harlan County demographics, quality of life, medical facilities and school district information as well as links to any pertinent websites.
“If you don’t have accurate information on the site, you’re going nowhere,” Calhoun said. “That’s in the process, whether we get the grant or not.”
Calhoun also spoke about advertising options to facilitate economic development.
Calhoun pointed out Site Selector Magazine is the number one print magazine for this purpose.
“It has great results, I’ve used it over the years,” Calhoun said. “In May, the magazine is dedicated to the state of Kentucky, occasionally they’ll take a state and the publication will be geared toward it…what I’m going to propose is we do May, June, July, then skip August and do September.”
Calhoun explained repetitive advertising is a necessity.
“You’ve got to do repetitive advertising, one time’s not going to do it,” Calhoun said. “Then, in the next budget year…we make it a standard thing.”
Calhoun also provided some information on the International Conference of Shopping Centers.
“The show is in Las Vegas, it’s every year, approximately 50,000 people attend,” Calhoun said. “Every retailer in the United States, Europe and across the world is there.”
Calhoun stated the retailers include hotels/motels, restaurants, and other retailers.
“You go, you have a booth, and you meet with people from all over from these different retailers,” Calhoun said. “They come by your booth, or if you don’t have a booth you set up meetings with their representatives. You give them all your demographic information. What it does, it puts you on the map with all of them…the total cost of a booth is about $25,000.”
Calhoun pointed out the conference does not usually bring immediate results, but results could happen in approximately six months.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde