The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recognized the Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) as one of the top economic development organizations in the world on Thursday. JEDCO received a Silver Economic Development Organization (EDO) of the Year Award for excellence in long-term strategic planning, organizational development, and significant community impact and innovation. Additionally, JEDCO received a Silver Award for its Paid Advertising Campaign to promote JEDCO’s financing programs.
IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. These 35 awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.
“We are honored to receive these prestigious recognitions from IEDC, which highlight JEDCO’s standing as an international leader in the economic development industry,” said JEDCO President & CEO Jerry Bologna. “These awards speak volumes to the work that JEDCO’s staff and commissioners do on a daily basis. Moreover, this is a testament to the invaluable resources that the Jefferson Parish Council and Administration afford us to carry out our efforts. We are proud to do this great work on behalf of our business in Jefferson Parish and we thank our many partners for their support.”
JEDCO received the EDO of the Year Award based on the organization’s many projects and initiatives designed and implemented to improve quality of life, enhance economic activity, and position Jefferson Parish as a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. JEDCO’s recent wins and projects will create thousands of jobs, new investment, and a roadmap for future successes in Jefferson Parish. Notable projects include repurposing of an iconic dormant riverfront property into a multi-modal distribution hub; redevelopment of two local shopping centers into walkable, mixed-use destinations; expansion of a major food distributor; grand opening of a new international airport terminal; attraction of an Amazon distribution center; development of a neighborhood revitalization strategic plan to enhance housing stock and improve quality of life; launch of a comprehensive master plan for a 500-acre site that will serve as the heart of the business community; and the successful completion of a five-year economic development strategic plan.
In its application, JEDCO cited a focus on business recovery in the midst of a global pandemic, creation of the Terrytown Neighborhood Revitalization Strategic Plan, development of the Churchill Master Plan, launch of the Jefferson Parish Pulse podcast, success of the Jefferson EDGE 2020 long-term economic development strategic plan, and the continued focus on core services meant to attract new business, retain existing businesses and create jobs and investment throughout Jefferson Parish. Throughout the year, JEDCO has exhibited consistent leadership and coordination with key partners to support business recovery during the COVID-19 crisis. The JEDCO team works in tandem with key partners and stakeholders to ensure that Jefferson Parish continues to be a top destination for business annually.
JEDCO received the Paid Advertising Campaign Award for the marketing of the organization’s SBA 504 Loan Program. JEDCO is one of the few economic development organizations in the state that offers a small business financing arm to support economic development. As a Certified Economic Development Corporation (CDC), JEDCO is able to administer SBA 504 loans in partnership with conventional financial institutions. JEDCO launched a paid advertising campaign in 2018 to raise awareness about JEDCO’s ability to lend SBA 504 dollars, to highlight the benefits of this program, and to increase the number of SBA 504 loans being administered by the JEDCO Development Corporation. JEDCO’s marketing approach included traditional platforms (print and radio) as well as digital and outdoor platforms. The integrated strategy allowed JEDCO to reach a vast audience across multiple target industries and locations. The paid advertising campaign spanned over two years with measurable positive results. Since the beginning of 2018, JEDCO has increased SBA 504 Loans by 300%. In 2019, the organization became the #1 performing Certified Development Corporation in Louisiana.
“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,” said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”
JEDCO received both of the IEDC Awards for communities with a population between 200,000 and 500,000. Awards were presented during IEDC’s Annual Conference, which was held virtually this year.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at iedconline.org.