Indian River County Florida
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Economic Development Positioning Analysis and Action Plan

At its November 12, 2013 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners (Board) reviewed a request from the Economic Development Council (EDC) to create a budget and a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Economic Development Positioning Plan. Since that date, the RFP was developed, reviewed, and approved by the Board, the RFP was issued, responses to the RFP were reviewed and ranked, the number 1 ranked consultant, Voltedge, Inc. was hired by the Board to carry out the work outlined in the RFP, and the work was completed and accepted by the board.

The contract with Voltedge, Inc. (a.k.a Ady Advantage) as approved by the Board on June 17, 2014 called for the preparation of an Economic Development Analysis and Action Plan. The stated goal for the Action Plan is to improve economic development marketing in order to generate economic development activity that diversifies the tax base and creates quality jobs that increase primary employment. Specific tasks for preparing a plan that helps achieve that goal are included in the consultant contract scope of services. Those tasks included:

  1. Conducting two community leaders/stakeholders work sessions, one at the beginning and one toward the end of the project;
  2. Interviewing various officials, groups, and key individuals to identify how Indian River County is perceived and actions that can be taken to strengthen positive perceptions and reverse negative perceptions;
  3. Completing a sites and buildings analysis;
  4. Preparing a competitive positioning assessment and assessment of the County’s list of target industries; and
  5. Preparing and presenting an economic development positioning analysis report and action plan that identifies actions that can be taken to improve the County’s competitiveness.

Economic Development Positioning Community Work Session #1– July 18, 2014

Representatives of the consulting firm Ady Advantage

  • Explained the Economic Development Positioning process,
  • Outlined the plan of action for development of the Economic Development Positioning Plan, and
  • Gathered initial input and feedback on economic development topics such as regional/county-wide assets and advantages.

The work session was open to the public. More information is below:

ED Positioning Analysis and Action Plan Report: Section Submission Dates

Consistent with the ED Positioning Analysis and Action Plan consultant contract, Ady Advantage provided the County with multiple reports that when combined comprise one (1) overall ED Positioning Analysis and Action Plan report. A report submission timeline with section descriptions/names and submission dates is listed below.

Overall Report Section #*
Section Description* Report #* Contracted Report Delivery Date
1 Executive Summary Report 1 September 12, 2014
2 Project Goals & Process
3 Stakeholder & Business Leader Input
4 Sites and Building Assessment
5 The Indian River County Economy - Business Costs, Conditions, and Assets Analysis Report 2 October 17, 2014
6 Target Industry Assessment &
Report 3 November 14, 2014
------ Draft Analysis Report (Executive
Summary Updated)
Report 4 December 12, 2014
7 Draft Action Plan with
Report 5 February 9, 2015

*Note: Each partial report submission contains earlier sections of the overall report that may have been updated as appropriate. Click on “Report 5” to access the entire “draft” report with all sections.

Report Presentations and Review

Economic Development Positioning Community Work Session #2 – January 8, 2015

Ady Advantage presented the proposed overall draft analysis report (sections 1 – 6) and also provided some preliminary recommendations. The meeting was open to the public and feedback was obtained from participants. More information is available below.

Draft Report and Action Plan Presentation and Review - March 3, 2015

The draft action plan and report was formally presented to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) at its regular meeting on March 3, 2015. At that meeting, the BCC accepted the report with one minor text revision and also approved moving forward with all six strategies recommended by the consultant within the Action Plan section of the report (Section 7). More Information is available below.

Next Steps

Section 7 of the plan constitutes the “Action Plan”. That section contains six specific actionable strategies for the Chamber, the County, and the cities to undertake to encourage and promote business retention and expansion and to attract new businesses. A brief description of each action item and an indication of items to be presented to the EDC and BCC are listed in the table below. Most items with end products are anticipated to be completed during 2015 and 2016. A general timeline for completion of the action items can be found here.

Strategy # Action Item Primary Responsible Entity Present to EDC and BCC
1 Create a Business Retention and Expansion Plan Chamber X
Select Business Retention and Expansion Software Chamber -
2 Conduct Detailed Target Industry Analysis Chamber and County X
Create Target Industry List and Develop Positioning Statements for Each Chamber and County -
Create Industry Sell Sheets Chamber -
Develop Marketing Plans for each Target Industry Chamber X
3 Conduct Brand Audit/Develop Marketing Chamber -
Create Economic Development Brand Chamber X
Implement ED Branding Chamber -
4 Develop Stand-alone Economic Development Website Chamber X
Develop Materials for Economic Development Website Chamber -
5 Create Minimum Property Listing Data Thresholds Chamber -
6 Continue to support regional economic development efforts Chamber, County, & Cities -