All is fair in love and war.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is not bashful about pitching tech companies and venture capitalists to ditch San Francisco and move to Miami. In what the Miami tech scene is calling a “Techxodus,” Mayor Suarez hopped on for a Clubhouse talk this week to join entrepreneurs and VCs to make the case for why high priced, oversaturated markets like Silicon Valley and New York no longer suit them. A mayor hopping onto Clubhouse doesn’t happen everyday, and then to do so and pitch his city is bullish and pretty clever.
A glance through the mayor’s recent Tweets shows him charismatically appealing to entrepreneurs and marketing the city as the next technology hub. He even goes as far as Tweeting specific entrepreneurs directly and asking them to DM him.
With COVID threatening a business and talent exodus in some markets, Mayor Francis is committed to growing Miami’s tech scene by any means necessary. He recently hosted a virtual meetup with 250+ entrepreneurs in an unofficial campaign to “attract innovative companies and people to move to Miami.” The promotional flyer even reads, “If you’re wearing a sweater in December, you should join this event.”
The remote work environment is shifting preferences from quality of life to quality of place.
This is only the beginning as we’ve been discussing in our Economic Development Podcast series with CEOs around the country. Annmarie Henton of Albuquerque Economic Development predicts that mid size and smaller cities like hers are going to be the beneficiaries of this shift back to quality of place.
Reid Dulberger, President & CEO of the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis & Shelby County is already talking with the region’s telecommunications firms about enhancing the capacity for 5G and other advanced communications technology. He says that the shift to a remote workforce will impact the tech infrastructure and that communities will need to prepare.
Similar to Mayor Suarez in Miami, Greater Rochester Enterprise is pitching Rochester as having a greater profitability ratio for a firm of 50 or more, and that a company can make another million dollars a year in Rochester than you can in those larger metros.
Our agency believes that shadow cities will likely be the biggest winners. These are the secondary, overshadowed markets that couldn’t compete pre-COVID but will likely attract talent seeking the suburban lifestyle. And where talent goes there goes companies.
Since the start of the pandemic, our agency has been on a talk series with economic developers around the country about the outlook for targeted industry growth in a COVID environment and how their region is responding. We’ll be synthesizing these perspectives into a best practices white paper.
The series can be checked out here.