Journal Record Staff Reporter
Midwest City's new General Business Index was designed to
assist local economic development by providing existing
businesses and prospects with information specific to the area.
"Midwest City is part of the metro, but it is separate," said
Steve Smith, economics professor at Rose State College who
prepared the document.
"You can look at metro figures, but businesses locate in a
part of the metro area. This allows them to look at specific data
if they are considering Midwest City."
The Midwest City index is the first of its kind to provide
detailed analysis of such a tightly focused segment within a
Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was prepared by Smith for the
Midwest City Economic Development Commission in cooperation with
the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University
of Oklahoma and Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.
The first Midwest City index was produced in November 1992,
and the year-end analysis was released late this week.
"We saw that this could be a service for economic development
if we built and produced a local GBI. It could be given to local
businesses or prospects. The Midwest City Economic Development
Commission agreed to help with data collection."
The index is based on the model by Bell economist Craig
Knutson, who prepares general business indexes for Oklahoma, and
the metro areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The Midwest City index was created by adjusting the Oklahoma
City index to reflect the structure of Midwest City's economy and
the availability of data.
"Local business people are interested in what is driving the
economy locally. Maybe Midwest City responds to different stimuli
than Oklahoma City," Smith said.
"This is a value for any business person who is now here or is
considering moving here."
Smith began working on the creation of the index about two
years ago, when he and the local economic development commission
began gathering the Midwest City-specific data. The information
collected covers the period from 1980 to 1992.
After the data is collected, the information is taken to the
OU Center, which runs the statistics on its computer according to
the Bell model. OU also provides computer analysis of the
Smith said the index is an excellent example of private
enterprise and different public colleges working together to
produce something of value to the community. …