During the COVID-19 crisis, it has become more important than ever for economic developers to utilize many forms of technology to stay informed and able to perform essential economic development work.
NCEDA has put together a list of resources for our members to learn more about online platforms and software.
Online Meeting / Webinar Platforms
Platforms to allow your team to meet virtually, host webinars for any size audience, and connect in times of social distancing.
- GoToMeeting – click here for detailed information on their pricing and offerings.
- GoToWebinar – click here to start a 7-day free trial of this webinar platform and for their pricing.
- Zoom – click here for customizable plans and pricing from Zoom to host meetings, webinars, and more. Zoom offers a free version of the platform for small groups.
- WebEx – by Cisco, offering an upgraded free plan for your organization to meet. Click here for details and pricing plans.
- BlueJeans – by Dolby Voice, click here for detailed information and pricing plans.
- Ring Central – integrated phone, video conferencing, and messaging for businesses. Click here for details and pricing plans.
- Jive – Affordable option, also provides free go-to connect video conferencing and the ability to operate your phone remotely. Click here for pricing information.
Internal Business Communication Software
Software allowing for your business or organization communications to take place in one space. Internal communications, work planning, and team organization capabilities.
- Slack – click here for plans and pricing and here for details about what Slack does. Slack offers a free plan for small teams.
- Microsoft Teams – if you use Office products, Microsoft Teams is great for internal organization. Click here for plan details and here for more information. Microsoft Teams offers a free
- Microsoft 365 – like Slack, combines all your communication needs in one place. Click here for more details.
- Google Drive – Google offers an integrated communications system and is free to Gmail users. Click here for details.
- Calendly – an online calendar tool that offers seamless invites for meetings to any client. Click here for more details and here for pricing.
Cloud Storage Software
Online platforms that allow your organization to store files and information that employees can access anywhere, any time, with internet. Password protected and secure options for remote work.
- Dropbox – Dropbox offers a free 30-day trial for teams. Click here for details and pricing.
- Box – Click here for details about Box and here for pricing plans.
- Microsoft OneDrive – Through Microsoft software and 365 you can store files for internal sharing. Click here for pricing.
- ShareFile – allows for VERY large file transfers. Click here for pricing information.
Online Design Services / Platforms
These platforms and services allow businesses to design marketing, PDFs, and more, internally.
- Adobe – Create and edit PDFs, design marketing materials, online capability. Click here for details. Adobe offers free trials of all of their products – click here. Adobe offers:
- InDesign – design marketing materials
- Photoshop – edit photos and videos for marketing
- Illustrator – create marketing
- Acrobat – PDF editing and creation
- Canva – online design software offering thousands of templates with a free plan for small groups or individuals. Click here for pricing.
Analysis / Data Tools
Use these sites for data trends, to gather data, or to create your own data, for economic development purposes.
- EMSI – Provides labor market data for economic development professionals and more.
- JobsEQ – Similar to ESMI, provides labor market data for site selectors and economic development professionals.
- GIS WebTech – GIS tool built specifically for economic developers.
- GIS Planning – GIS tool built specifically for investment attraction capabilities for economic developers.
- IMPLAN – A data modeling software or application for economic developers to model economic activity and more.
- ESRI / ArcGIS – Create data comparisons for anything using geographic mapping services. Requires plan for usage, click here for details.
Social Media Platforms
Use social media for communication from your organization to chosen audiences. Post photo, video, blog, and other content on a regular basis to stay connected. All are free to create and use.
- Facebook – Great for connecting with other businesses and creating legitimacy for your organization. Has online advertising options.
- Twitter – Great for quick communication to public audiences.
- Instagram – Posts one photo or a small set of photos at a time. Great for real-time updates through story feature. Can be used on a computer but best if used from phones.
- LinkedIn – Professional networking site. All organizations who seek legitimacy and to connect with like organizations should have one. Similar to Facebook but less personal.
Social Media Management Sites
For managing multiple social media sites – Instagram offers the option to post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn when you post there. If you do not have Instagram here are sites that allow you to post the same thing to multiple sites at once:
- HootSuite – Offers a multitude of plans for different types of businesses, click here for pricing.
- Sendiable – Offers a free trial, click here for pricing.
- AgoraPulse – Offers a 28-day free trial, click here for pricing. Also offers several free social media marketing tools on their site.
FREE Online Resources (Miscellaneous)
Resources for various functions in economic development that are free and easy to use online.
- VeraCrypt – Encryption software, best in class.
- iPiccy – Free online image editing
- Virustotal – Free virus scanning software for files, applications, and links
- Flashback Express – Free screen recording software
- Free PDF converter – Free software for the conversion of PDFs
- Wondershare – Free video editing software
- Pexels – Free stock photos & videos for use
- Imcompetech – Access to royalty free music
- Headwater Economics – Independent, non-partisan research compilation for economic developers
- MindMeister – Collaborative mind maps, free for small users
- TechSoup – Provides massive discounts to non-profits for software and hardware