Welcome to the “Show Me The Way” podcast with David Seitter
In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Chris Gutierrez, President of Kansas City SmartPort, to discuss strategies to attract distribution warehouses, manufacturing entities, and other businesses to the Kansas City region.
Ep. 34 — Attracting Business to Kansas City with Chris Gutierrez
Chris Gutierrez is no stranger to the world of economic development. With a career spanning over three decades, he has successfully worked towards bringing specific businesses to the Midwestern region. Born in Canton, Ohio, Chris found his passion for international business through a unique beer can collection hobby that led him to pursue a degree in international business and marketing at Ohio State University.
The Role of Kansas City SmartPort
Kansas City SmartPort, a not-for-profit organization aligned with the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), actively promotes the Kansas City region for new investment. With a focus on industrial businesses, SmartPort works diligently to attract manufacturing and warehouse distribution entities to the area. Chris Gutierrez serves as the president of SmartPort, leading the organization in its mission to drive economic growth in the region.
A Strategic Approach to Business Attraction
Chris Gutierrez emphasizes the importance of being research-driven and understanding the Kansas City region’s economic landscape. By identifying relevant industries and trends, SmartPort becomes an industry expert, attending conferences and building credibility within target sectors like electric vehicle automotive. They also engage with site selection consultants who play a crucial role in guiding clients’ location decisions.
The Challenges and Successes
Like any industry, economic development isn’t without its challenges. One primary obstacle is the tight labor market, which requires innovative approaches to attract and retain skilled workers. Additionally, Kansas City’s growth necessitates a continual push for more industrial space, infrastructure, and utilities to accommodate expansion. However, despite these challenges, Chris and his team have achieved remarkable successes, such as attracting major retailers like Urban Outfitters and securing a significant investment from Panasonic in the electric vehicle battery manufacturing industry.
The Future of Economic Development in Kansas City
Looking ahead to the future, Kansas City’s economic growth shows no signs of slowing down. Chris Gutierrez envisions a continued upward trajectory for the region, with a focus on global engagement and attracting established manufacturing companies with cutting-edge technologies. By staying proactive, hiring a competent team, and promoting Kansas City’s value proposition, he aims to position the region as a top destination for businesses seeking success.
This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.