Tuesday, September 10, 2002

What's the Buzz?

Consultant offers ideas for growth

By Cliff Peale cpeale@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Philadelphia, Cleveland and Baltimore are among the cities Cincinnati should emulate in its development efforts; and that means more money and more marketing, according to a consultant hired by city officials.

        Jeff Finkle, president of the International Economic Development Council, said the city's biggest developmental liability is its recent race-relations problems. But it has substantial strengths, most notably its central location and transportation infrastructure.

        And the city needs an image that it can sell internationally, he said.

        “I think of Cincinnati as a Rust Belt industrial city,” said Mr. Finkle, who this morning will present a report on best development practices in other cities to a panel headed by City Manager Valerie Lemmie and Fifth Third Bank CEO George Schaefer.

        That panel is charged with restructuring the city's development efforts. Combined with parallel efforts to recast the advocacy group Downtown Cincinnati Inc. and re-fund the fund-raising Partnership for Greater Cincinnati, it's the linchpin of the effort to reignite the city's economic growth.

        Cincinnati spends significantly less than other cities on its development efforts and employs fewer development staffers, Mr. Finkle said.


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