Business attraction & support
Aerospace Task Force formed
In response to the 737 Max suspension, the Greater Wichita Partnership along with 14 other local, state and federal partners came together in January as the Aerospace Task Force. The Partnership supported the task force with coordination support, communications, marketing assistance and supplier outreach.
The task force coordinated a unified response to the needs of impacted workers and affected businesses, named the Air Capital Commitment. The Air Capital Commitment is a dedication that when things get tough, we rally together to provide the immediate support and long-term resources for our people, our companies and our community.
As part of the Air Capital Commitment, the Partnership developed and launched a one-stop website in January to provide information and connections to resources for workers affected by the production suspension and related layoffs.
COVID-19 Community Task Force formed
In first quarter 2020, the Partnership worked with partners from the Aerospace Task Force to transition the group into the COVID-19 Community Task Force. The group has expanded to include more than 40 participating non-profit, civic, public and private organizations. The task force meets bi-weekly to address economic issues related to the pandemic, including to:
- Share information, including immediate needs and critical issues
- Work together to streamline efforts, identify barriers and find solutions
- Organize and initiate efforts for short-, mid- and long-term economic responses and recovery for individuals and businesses
The COVID-19 Community Task Force has provided support by securing and connecting PPE, testing, child care, economic recovery projects and more.
COVID-19 support provided by the Partnership
As the business impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic evolved, the Partnership provided information and resources for businesses during the challenging and changing times.
- In the first several months of the pandemic, the Partnership communicated directly with hundreds of regional companies about the availability and updates to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury and Disaster loans from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- The Partnership team partnered with eight organizations to create the Wichita Region Economic Recovery Report. The report communicates economic challenges due to the pandemic and a roadmap for recovery based on identified economic development projects, with a goal of spurring economic growth in the region.
- Alongside a coalition of regional partners, the Partnership submitted a letter for a local and significant Economic Development Administration grant and regional letters of support for two other potential federal opportunities.
- In early stages of the pandemic, Partnership staff and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce contacted over 100 companies and organizations to assist the Sedgwick County Health Department in finding local producers and supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and County first responders.
Recommendations for economic development incentives provided to public sector
Following the engagement of Ady Advantage in 2019 and insight from the Strategic Advisory Team (SAT), City and County officials were provided strategic recommendations on how to make our communities’ local incentive guidelines responsive, competitive, and equitable among leading regions across the country. The City Council approved changes to these local incentive guidelines in October of this year and the County Commission approved mid-December. This effort was identified in the Regional Growth Plan as a key step in facilitating economic growth and making our region more competitive in company attraction.
Kansas Framework for Growth in final stages
Over the last year, the Kansas Department of Commerce initiated a process to develop a comprehensive strategy for economic growth for the State of Kansas, named the Kansas Framework for Growth. This plan builds upon existing plans throughout the state, including the Regional Growth Plan and the incentive analysis completed by the Partnership's Strategic Advisory Team with Ady Advantage.
The Department of Commerce hosted numerous online workshops and presentations, including to the Partnership’s Executive Board and Strategic Advisory Team (SAT), to gather additional community and stakeholder feedback.
Molera Alvarez visits region to further FDI opportunities
In February, the Partnership hosted trade promotions firm Molera Alvarez to expand foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities in the region. The firm met with local companies to discuss economic development partnerships and opportunities.
Hosted CMMC event for supply-chain defense diversification
With new regulations from the Department of Defense, the Partnership worked with Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kansas Manufacturing Solutions and FlagshipKansas.tech to host DoD Compliance 411, a free webinar for area manufacturing companies. The webinar focused on how to navigate the complex process of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), a key step in securing defense diversification contract work.
Following the CMMC event in July, our business development team worked with Wichita State to secure EDA grant funding to the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) to increase the number of CMMC certified local manufacturers.
Kansas Department of Commerce senior leadership hosted
In September, the Partnership’s business development team provided in-person, socially-distanced tours of Wichita and the region to familiarize Kansas Department of Commerce team members with the area as they sell Greater Wichita throughout the country.
MRO virtual show and digital advertising strategy developed
To promote regional MRO competitive advantages and attract prospects, the Partnership team attended the virtual MRO TransAtlantic convention, which hosted virtual attendees from 98 countries across the globe. This integrated event combined both MRO Americas and MRO Europe, which in previous years had been held separately, resulting in increased potential for exposure and connections. The Partnership team participated in the show from Oct. 27-29 with a virtual booth and held multiple prospect meetings. To amplify business attraction efforts at the MRO TransAtlantic convention, a robust digital advertising campaign has been launched, targeting convention attendees. Concurrently, strategic advertising efforts have been launched in three target markets (Oklahoma City, Los Angeles, and Dallas) to drive awareness of MRO advantages in the Air Capital. Prospects in over 81 countries were reached as part of the campaign.
New Partnership website launched with prospect lead generation as primary goal
Based on extensive research and data analysis, a new Partnership website launched in July, focusing on business attraction and lead generation.
Insight from partners across the region combined with extensive target audience insights served as the foundation for the strategic redesign. The new website will serve as the primary foundation for all advertising efforts, and supports our business development team in selling our region’s competitive advantages.
The new website was developed in collaboration with local agency, Howerton+White and was identified in the Regional Growth Plan as a priority for high-impact marketing.
National digital marketing campaign under development
To increase national awareness of Greater Wichita and generate business development leads, a digital advertising campaign is being developed based on in-depth market research. The goal of this effort is to amplify the online presence of the region in Google searches, so that prospects across the nation are aware of the opportunities in Greater Wichita. The campaign will integrate search and display, programmatic and retargeting advertising efforts.
New email campaign proactively positions Greater Wichita as a location where businesses thrive
The Partnership launched a new, strategic email campaign to market the Greater Wichita region to site selectors across the nation. The campaign – named “Success Insight” – provides stories that make our region and companies successful, outside of traditional data and numbers. The campaign will proactively position Greater Wichita as a location where businesses thrive.
National lead generation firms engaged
The Partnership has engaged three national lead generation firms to drive regional business growth within our key target industry sectors. Each of these firms specializes in various industry sectors, geographic locations and types of development and will assist our business development team by connecting potential projects to the Partnership and the region.
Virtual foreign direct investment (FDI) efforts
The Partnership’s business development team pitched Greater Wichita’s business advantages to three German companies and one Finnish company in an effort to spur foreign direct investment. The Partnership team plans to follow-up with these companies frequently.