Fishers Advantage Leads the Effort in Creating a Sustainable Community Fishers leads the country in affordability, workforce and quality of life. None of those distinctions happened by chance, though. Fishers Advantage, the Town’s economic development arm, works diligently to ensure that Fishers remains a thriving community with continued opportunities for economic growth and development, creating a sustainable city for all to enjoy. Fishers Advantage is responsible for business attraction, retention and expansion efforts, all of which are booming with recent announcements of several businesses moving to Fishers, including world-class consumer products company, Jarden Home Brands, and extensive redevelopment underway with projects like The Depot at Nickel Plate. The Town’s economic development strategy for business attraction, growth and development is multipronged, explained Assistant Director of Economic Development, Tim Gropp. First, the Town evaluated its existing industry clusters, which are finance, technology, life sciences and medical. By focusing on attracting businesses in these sectors, the Town is confident that its residents have skill sets in those areas to fill jobs that these companies bring. “With every new business that’s coming in, we’re trying to balance different wage levels, skill levels and match our workforce and community patterns as best as possible,” said Gropp. Next, the Town focused on creating a sense of place or community identity. Through the Nickel Plate District redevelopment, which will yield a walkable, connected destination for entertainment, shopping and restaurants in the heart of Fishers, the Town has created a live-work-play triumvirate. This vibrant, pedestrian-friendly downtown area is not only a great benefit to residents, but also an essential element of the Town’s effort to draw innovative businesses and attract creative, entrepreneurial talent to Fishers. Finally, the Town’s effort to support, retain, grow and develop existing businesses is equally as important as attracting new ones, explained Gropp. 8
Town Talk September 2014
“A thriving local business scene is very important,” said Gropp. “They’re the ones that truly create the community. They’re the ones that you see at the football game on Friday night. They’re the ones that sponsor the little league team and are really ingrained in the community.” Gropp explained the concept of economic gardening, which embraces the idea that entrepreneurs drive economies. “Launch is important to the overall economic ecosystem,” said Gropp. “The businesses in Launch represent brand new economic development activity. When we grow businesses through Launch and then move them into a bigger office space and then they decide to lease space at Concourse or wherever, that’s a true economic success.” Economic development is a never-ending job, said Gropp. Constant changes in business, policy and workforce necessitate continued economic growth and development efforts. Gropp encourages residents to stay engaged and abreast of the Town’s economic development initiatives and especially to support local businesses.