The recipients of our 6th Annual Corporate Investment & Community Impact (CiCi) Awards are feted for either the monetary size of their investments in expansions over the past year (Corporate Investment Awards) or for the tremendous benefits to local communities resulting from their projects in 2010 (Community Impact Awards).
Collectively, these 30 winning projects demonstrated bold economic confidence that has become uncommon since the commencement of the Great Recession in December 2007. The confidence displayed is especially praiseworthy given the seesaw economy of 2010 that showed signs of hope in the beginning of the year, but then soured again into what can at best be described as a sluggish, jobless economic recovery. This, following 2009, which played out like a soap opera with the recession being declared dead in June by the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), then appearing ominously alive and well through the close of the year.
Despite this backdrop, the companies that comprise the 6th Annual CiCi Awards infused billions of development dollars into the economy and into communities, growing their companies and all that goes with that in the process. They bucked the trend of company closures and job loss by creating thousands of new direct and indirect jobs, in many cases in communities that were in dire straits.
As you read through the descriptions of the projects the award winners have embarked upon, you may be surprised by the scope of some of them and the types of companies that are carrying them out, including foreign investors. All of the stories are inspiring, with products being called game-changers and world-changers and others that are changing the business base, and thus the future, of the communities in which they are locating. As one economic development executive declared, “There's no downside to this.”