Economic Development Money & Finance

EDC Launches Orlando Economic Forum

Of the many legacies of the recession, few are as evident each day as the increased appetite for economic data.
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Local Real-Time Insight

Of the many legacies of the recession, few are as evident each day as the increased appetite for economic data. Corporate earnings reports now command more airtime than ever before, and more and more people pay attention to weekly, monthly and quarterly releases from the commerce and labor departments. Information is increasingly at our fingertips, 24 hours a day.

Yet much of economics is local. As valuable as global and national news is, what actually occurs in Orlando – and how external trends manifest locally – is, to a large extent, unique.

For the company in Seminole County, the would-be start-up in Orange County or a decision-maker looking across the region, plentiful information on the greater macroeconomy provides only part of the necessary universe of economic information.

The Orlando Economic Forum, launched in late 2014, is a response to that reality. Comprised of approximately 20 appointed industry leaders and chaired by the University of Central Florida’s Dr. Sean Snaith, the Forum meets quarterly to discuss both current economic conditions and issues of regional significance in the four-county Orlando region.

The Forum has a clear objective – to generate the real-time insight necessary for the region to seize future opportunities and tackle existing problems.

 

Why Now?

A movement is underway in cities, counties and regions across the country. Each day, communities are taking their economic future into their own hands by implementing new and innovative economic development strategies.

The Orlando region is at the forefront of that movement – a forward-thinking community very much on the move.

At the same time, never before has so much regional economic data been available. But data only tells us what the numbers are. Insight tells us why the numbers matter.

The Orlando Economic Forum will help our community get from the “what” to the “why,” so we can confidently make the big moves to keep Orlando thriving — moves like recruiting the growth industries of the future, training tomorrow’s workforce, and investing in infrastructure. The Forum’s initiatives, analysis and insights – such as the signature quarterly publication, Orlando Insight (now available online) – will help ensure these moves are supported by a deep, solid, well-researched foundation.

 

A New Course

The debut of the Orlando Economic Forum coincides with an expanded workstream within the EDC to report on the regional economy. An understanding of the dynamics and movements of the local economy has always steered our internal planning and strategy; however, 2015 brings an enhanced commitment from our Business Intelligence Team to generate and disseminate more and more timely analysis unique to Orlando. As the year progresses, look to our website, OrlandoEDC.com, for new content and sign up for email updates.

The recession was challenging for many, the catalyst of which has reaffirmed the notion that wise moves are grounded in reality and hard data, not speculation.

As we now emerge stronger and healthier, both the Orlando Economic Forum and the EDC’s Business Intelligence team will be at work monitoring the most relevant economic unit to all of us – Orlando.

 

Neil Hamilton_bwNeil Hamilton is the director of business intelligence for the Orlando Economic Development Commission. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics, the latter as part of his work as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Florida. A native of Scotland, he proudly calls Orlando home.

 

 


This article appears in the March 2015 issue of i4 Business.
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