Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2003

Trade area pitched in new city brochure

August 21, 2003

The city of De Soto has a new tool for its economic development efforts that relies on a little neighborly help to sell the city.
Sara Ritter, executive director of the De Soto Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, shared the four-page De Soto Advantage brochure with the City Council Aug. 7.
The brochure has data and graphs demonstrating De Soto's advantages for potential new business, which include bettering county, metropolitan, state and national labor participation rates with 76.5 percent of the population older than 16 in the labor force, and USD 232 exceeding state assessment results in reading and math. It touts De Soto's location on the Kansas Highway 10 "Smart Corridor" midway between Kansas University and the Johnson County commercial hub.
"This is something I can use to market De Soto," Ritter told the Council. "I didn't have a resource with demographics to share with consultants and prospects looking at De Soto."
Those looking at the demographics listed on the brochure's page cover might not recognize the De Soto in the numbers presented. Although the brochure states the city's population at the U.S. Census Bureau's current estimate of 4,735, it focuses on the demographics of the De Soto trade area, which extend five miles beyond the city limits in all directions. The trade area has a population of 12,677 and anaverage household income of $105,687.
The five-mile radius skews the demographics, Ritter admitted, but said it was a legitimate strategy recommended by County Economic Research Institute.
"That's what prospects want to see," she said. "They want to know more than just what's in the town.
"It does include a small portion of Cedar Creek. That bumps the income. If we just did De Soto, it would be shoved the other way. Everybody wants to be looked at in a favorable light."
One thousand of the brochures were printed, Ritter said. It should stay valid for about three years, she said.

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