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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Economic Announcement Update

The decision by Barilla of America Inc. to build a manufacturing plant in Livingston County gives credence to greater Rochester as a center for food and beverage manufacturing. (Here's a story about the deal from the Des Moines Register.) Greater Rochester Enterprise added food and beverage as an economic development focus this year.

According to research by my colleague, David Tyler, the following products are made or administered here in at least some quantity:

Franceso Rinaldi tomato sauce (Fairport.)
Mott's Applesauce (Wayne County.)
Cool Whip (Avon.)
Bird's Eye frozen vegetables (various locations.)
Heluva Good cheese. (Sodus.)
J.W. Dundee Honey Brown beer (Rochester.)


Blogger Brian Bell said...

In today's D&C, it was quoted that there are an estimated 40,000 U.S. economic development agencies, but last year, there were only 140 corporate relocation projects involving 500 or more workers. The straight odds of landing one of those projects is thus 0.35% and the expected return (# of jobs x probability) equals 1.75 expected jobs per year.

Admittedly, using this simple calculation doesn't capture the multivariant process of recruiting a large corporation to one's area. But in a resource constrained environment, one needs to focus on the highest probabilities for success. We already have over a $1 billion of University research PER YEAR in the greater WNY region and the probability of a large licensing deal (>$1 million royalty) or raising venture capital is between 0.6-1.0% per AUTM (Assoc of Unv. Technology Managers) and venture industry sources.

$1 billion x 0.6% = $6,000,000 VC funding divided by $120,000 = 50 FTEs per year

Again, a simplistic calculation, but the magnitude difference is my point. And like compounding interest, we know over a decade or two, a region can create 50,000 new jobs by retaining its intellectual and human capital. Any business will testify that its cheaper to retain an existing customer, than acquiring a new one. Similar for economic development.

8:19 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Behind The Business Page said...

Hi Brian,

Good to hear from you. You'll be happy to know that your calculations -- or a variation thereof -- are an important part of Greater Rochester Enterprise's basic economic development strategy. Immediately after he talked about the 40,000 agencies, Dennis Mullen said, and I quote: "I don't like those odds." What he was saying was, this is the reason why GRE is putting its emphasis on business retention and new venture growth. Now I suppose we could debate the relative merits of certain investments of time and money in that regard, but they and you are thinking alike. FWIW.


10:31 AM, March 15, 2006  

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