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The ERC is pleased to launch the “It’s Who You Know” marketing campaign.

Please take a moment to read the article below that explains why and what it’sJon Gregory- Exec Dir all about. Of note, it provides an easy way for all community stakeholders to participate and make a difference in our collective efforts to enhance Nevada County’s economic prosperity.

I look forward to hear about your “who you know” stories and contacts. Feel free to email me or call 530-518-5733.

Sometimes it’s “what you know”.  For example, I know what makes Nevada County an attractive location.  It possesses an incredible history of innovation, high quality arts, amazing outdoor recreation amenities amid a beautiful foothill and mountain setting, an abundance of healthcare expertise and resources for a rural area, and an actively engaged citizenry.  Many of us reside here permanently, and tens of thousands of others visit here each year because we know this to be true.

Yet, “who you know” is often more important than “what you know”.  Most of us have benefited greatly at some point in our lives because of who we know, versus what we know.  Perhaps through a fortuitous lead for a new job, a referral to a Doctor with highly specialized expertise, a letter of recommendation to help with getting into a university program, or even an introduction to your spouse!

Importantly, while we don’t typically think about it, the “who you know” aspect also plays an important role in our personal or business location decisions.  Probably more often than we realize.  In fact, looking back on my own life experiences, the 3 significant moves I have made as an adult – from San Jose to Germany; from San Jose to Chico; and finally from Chico to Nevada County – were inspired by either a family, friend or business relationship.  It indeed was “who I knew” that mattered as much as “what I knew”.

In Nevada County our ERC’s Marketing Task Force (led by Debbie Plass with Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital) and  Royal Welcome Task Force (led by Task Force Chair Kimberly Parker of Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation) have identified a compelling new way to apply this “It’s Who You know” phenomenon within an economic development framework.  Here in Nevada County we frequently read or hear about (often from people we know!) the cost, congestion, safety, and stress issues that are driving more and more people and businesses in the Bay Area and Los Angeles to look for new homes.  As one data point, a recent report indicated that over 50% of Bay Area residents looking to purchase homes are considering areas outside that region.  Moreover, somewhat surprisingly, Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently stated: “it’s easier to start a company outside of the Valley than in the Valley”.  In our local economic development efforts we have goals to attract high quality jobs, new revenue sources, and families and individuals with talent and disposable income to the area.  The economic development opportunity presented to us today as a result of the aforementioned issues in the Bay Area and Los Angeles is very real.

Interestingly, while we can’t quantify the exact numbers, anecdotally we can acknowledge that a meaningful percentage of local business owners, engineers, executives, entrepreneurs and others have moved here from the Bay Area and Los Angeles.  Important to the “who you know” economic development framework is a recognition that most of these individuals continue to have relationships with family and friends, and key business contacts in those (and other) metro areas.

Engaging the entire Nevada County community to provide introductions to people and businesses they know who may now – or in the future – be considering a new residence or business location is the objective of a new ERC marketing campaign.  The campaign, called “It’s Who You Know”, is aimed at generating an ongoing stream of “prospects” to locate to Nevada County.  Our campaign goal is to land a combination of at least one new entrepreneur, business and tech executive each year.  Equally important is a second goal of generating ongoing “buzz” and involvement by the entire Nevada County community each and every day of the year.  Anyone and EVERYONE can play a role.  And, when it works, we ALL benefit!

We believe we have a compelling story for the people you help us identify.  To that end, over the past several months the ERC and other local organizations (sometimes in partnership) have created a variety of information tools and resources (San Francisco Chronicle insert, updated website, Nevada County brochure, Royal Welcome Task Force Power Point presentation, etc.) that can be provided to the individuals and businesses referred to us through the “It’s Who You Know” campaign.

In closing, I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of “it’s who you know”.  I’m quite certain that for somebody in Nevada County this phenomenon will come into play today, tomorrow or next week.  You will be forever grateful.  And, don’t forget to return the favor someday!