St. Charles phone app garners accolades

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012



HAHNVILLE – A unique smartphone application designed to bolster tourism and attract business and industry interests in St. Charles Parish recently caught the eye of an internationally known research organization devoted to economic development.

The parish’s office of Economic Development and Tourism recently received an Excellence in Economic Development Award for its iSCP Smartphone app in the category of New Media for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000 from the International Economic Development Council. The award was presented at a ceremony on Oct. 2 during the IEDC Annual Conference in Houston.

“We recognize St. Charles Parish Department of Economic Development and Tourism for creating innovative and successful strategies to promote economic development in this period of global recovery,” Jay Moon, IEDC chair, said in a statement. “The St. Charles Parish Department of Economic Development and Tourism demonstrates that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using cutting-edge, effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.”

St. Charles Economic Development Director Corey Faucheux said the iSCP app was the only smartphone app of the 30 entries listed in the award category. He said the technology is unique, but it is starting to catch on.

“More communities are going to start embracing this idea,” Faucheux said. “It is hard to find quicker access to the information the program provides.”

The application is available for free download in the Apple App Store by searching “St. Charles Parish.” Faucheux said the app provides economic development and tourism data to users, whether they’re in-parish seeking a bite to eat or across the country looking for a tract of land to locate a new business.

“The app is targeting three audiences,” Faucheaux said. “It can be used by residents as a quick reference for events and attractions, by site selectors looking to bring new commercial or industrial business to the parish or by existing business looking to expand or set up shop elsewhere in the parish.”

Since its launch last November, the iSCP app has logged 285 downloads from users not just in this region.

“The United States has the most, but we have had downloads in Europe, Asia, Australia and other areas,” Faucheux said. “It is doing more than just educating people about the region. It is also assisting industrial and business ambassadors in determining whether they should bring new business here.

Faucheux said the content in both the “tourist info” and “business advantages” sections is constantly updated with new information, including restaurant listings, accommodations and a schedule of events.

“I constantly encourage local residents and businesses to download the app, because we are always getting great feedback from people who have it,” Faucheux said. “The app has extremely useful information for a wide variety of users.”

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year’s most influential leaders. The awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.