SmartLeads Limited Edition Database Subscription can assist you in finding your best business opportunities! 6-Month & 12-Month subscriptions available. Call 616-786-2500 today to reserve your spot!

Whittaker Report

New & Expanded Announcements: January 2002 – April 2002

By Jeff Kelley

The results are in for the first quarter. According to Conway Data’s New & Expanded Announcements these are the top 10 state for January 2002 – April 2002.  The total number of announcements for the first quarter was 313.


Rank State Number of Announcements
1 CA 24
2 MN 24
3 IL 22
4 ME 19
5 FL 18
6 NY 17
7 VA 15
8 IN 14
9 TX 13
10 NJ 12

Is it Rural or Urban?

By Pete Julius

What is your definition of a rural area? Some people call all non-metropolitan areas rural regions, while others put areas with populations of less than 5,000 people in the rural category. Numerous definitions are used to classify a region as rural or urban, making it harder for economic developers to select the right classification. 

The law requires some federal and state economic development organizations to use Census Bureau classifications to allocate program funds, set program standards, and implement each program.  For those communities that could be either rural or urban it is very important to understand the classification system.  It is also essential to understand any changes that occur within the system and what they could mean to a community.  Recently, the Census Bureau revised its classification of rural and urban areas. 

The 1990 Census definition labeled rural areas as those community boundaries with less than 2,500 people.  However, the new 2000 definition instituted by the Census Bureau is quite different.  The new definition is now based on population density and not just boundary lines.  This definition will not only include communities with less than 2,500 but it will also include the surrounding areas, which contribute to the community’s overall economy. 

The change will cause some traditional rural areas to become classified as urban.  Since this change in classification was just announced, it is not clear what it means for the future.  The switch in terminology could cause a reform in Federal and state funding.  If you wish to view these changes further, please click on the following link:

Attracting the Creative Class

By Katie Terpstra

“Keep your tax incentives and highway interchanges; we will go where the highly skilled people are.”

Carley Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard CEO

Richard Florida, in his book The Rise of the Creative Class, describes the emergence of a new social class, the creative class.  He believes creativity is the driving force behind economic growth and that “cities should stop worrying about attracting companies and start worrying about attracting members of this class.”  Once the creative people have been successfully attracted, the companies seeking this type of workforce will naturally follow.

Mr. Florida defines the core of the creative class as “people in science and engineering, architecture and design, education, arts, music, and entertainment, whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology and/or new creative content.”  He estimates that the class includes 38 million members or more than 30 percent of the nation’s workforce.

In order to attract the creative class to an area, Florida believes a place must have “the 3 T’s”—technology, talent and tolerance.  While he believes geographical place does still play an important role in attraction, he also writes, “Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steelmaking.” 

Whether you agree with Florida or not, he raises some interesting issues through his research.  Have you witnessed the presence of this creative class in your area?  Do organizations need to be more innovative in their attempts to attract companies?  Is it feasible to attract people rather than companies?  Click here to send us your feedback.

Sources & Links:

º An article based on Florida’s book which asks the question: “Why do some cities thrive and others flounder?”

º Florida’s website which contains more information about his book, The Rise of the Creative Class, including excerpts.

º An interesting quiz designed to test how creative your workplace is.

Featured Website:

By Jeff Kelley

We love Google. We all use it here at Whittaker Associates and have found that it is the most useful search engine for finding whatever it is we are looking for. It looks like a straightforward search engine, but there is a lot more to Google than the simple search box and logo.

How does Google do it?

Google produces results based on a sorting system called PageRank™. PageRank claims to be “uniquely democratic.” It produces results based on votes that pages cast when they are linked together. For example Google sees one page linked to another as one vote, by page 1 for page 2. It also analyzes the content of the page that casts the vote. More important pages that cast votes weigh more heavily. But what it comes down to for me is that the more popular pages come up first, rather than pages highly ranked because someone has purchased a spot as an advertisement (

Relevant Results

Unlike other sites that have banners and sponsor links at the top, Google doesn’t let marketing clutter your results. It’s fair, and that’s nice for the little guy. And because it’s democratic, Google weeds out sites which aren’t as useful, such as those that come up through metatag manipulation.

Even I Misspell a Word Once in Awhile.

Google uses a spell check and offers to search for the suggested spelling. I don’t know how many times I’ve been saved from rifling through pages for something that I misspelled, er mistyped.

Check out Google’s example of how it has helped many Britney Spears fans:

Other Features

Google offers a number of different ways to get at the information that you are looking for. My favorite is the Google Toolbar that IE users can add ( You can quickly search without returning to Google’s site. They also offer searches for wireless devices like WAP, web-enabled phones or handhelds ( You can also add Google to your website to search the contents for free ( And if you are really impressed with that, you can add the Google search appliance to your network (

If you’ve ever visited Google on a holiday or an artist’s birthday, you know its clever logos are fun to click on.

If you like another search engine we’d like to know why and how you use it.