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November 7, 2018 9:50am

GLIDE Denver Group Creates Action Plan

As you may have heard, GLI convened the attendees of GLIDE Denver for a follow-up meeting at the beginning of November.  In this gathering, we unveiled our takeaway one-pager and broke into groups to further discuss action plans to make our takeaways happen.  We received excellent feedback and we want to share it with the entire business community to gather additional insight and keep the ball rolling.

Our first set of takeaways was grouped into the category of Regional Economic Development. Items in this group include:

  • Streamlining the process for Business Attraction and strengthening regional economic development partnerships at the state and local levels
  • Creating and Growing a Tech Cluster
  • Attracting WeWork to Louisville
  • Championing an elected officials coalition to promote Economic Development

In breakout groups, attendees agreed that Greater Louisville needs to develop a flowchart for the economic development process by engaging all the stakeholders that do economic development in the region. Our Tech Cluster group decided to form a steering committee with the goal of identifying all the tech companies already in Louisville and creating a comprehensive list of the assets and needs of these companies moving forward.  They want to brand the tech companies of Louisville and build a roadmap of skills needed to keep these companies growing. Similarly, the WeWork group discussed forming a steering committee of business and community leaders interested in attracting the revolutionary co-working space to this market. The elected officials group focused on further formalizing collaboration efforts between Kentucky and Indiana officials to make more progress on shared goals. They also discussed having meetings with officials to better identify the pain points of communities to further understanding and togetherness.

Our second big takeaway centered on Topophilia (Greek for “Love of Place”).  It means embracing all of the amenities that our region has to offer and using them to sell what is the “Louisville Experience.”  Items discussed include:

  • Branding Louisville’s Regional Assets with a single entity
  • Growing the Bourbon brand throughout the region
  • Advocating for Local Control of Taxes for community projects   
  • Focusing on projects and amenities that attract the next generation of workers

The Community Branding group agreed that the Live In Lou is a fantastic jumping off point to attract more people to Louisville. They want to see more done to make sure companies and other community stakeholders are using the assets on the website and incorporating Live in Lou into their recruitment efforts. Similarly, the Bourbonism group, wants to see a more coordinated effort of marketing our region’s premier spirit.  The proposed forming an enterprise network in coordination with universities and the hospitality industry to kick those efforts into high gear. They would like to study an area like the Napa Valley more closely to see how business competitors are working together long-term to make their region an ongoing successful destination. The group tasked with attracting the next generation of workers to Louisville discussed efforts that need to happen internally in Louisville to accelerate these efforts. They discussed creating a young professionals committee for GLI in partnership with YPAL to increase engagement and identify what must be focused on to lure in new talent. They also discussed leveraging the Derby Festival more thoughtfully to get people to consider moving here. Finally the Local Option Sales Tax group discussed rebuilding a coalition of business leaders and elected officials from across the state to push for local control.  They agreed that more business leaders need to meet with Frankfort legislators one-on-one during the session to move ideas forward. There needs to be dual asks with a focus on fixing the pension crisis and advocating for counties to address their individual needs through the sales tax.

These are just a few of the many ideas discussed and there is much work to be done.  If you are interested in pushing any of these ideas forward, please reach out to GLI and we will be glad to connect you with the leaders driving these changes.  Together we can use the momentum of GLIDE Denver and make Louisville grow faster.