Value of Economic Development
The value of economic development is rooted in understanding the value of community. Groups of people organize in different ways. Most people assume that community means government. Community is also defined as an association, group of businesses or people with common interests. Many communities do not understand the value of economic development and what a professional economic developer does. It is sometimes thought that community growth will happen regardless so why invest in economic development. To say investment in economic development is of value because it brings revenue to communities does not give full credit to the profession. Economic development is about building healthy and sustainable economies and therefore having healthy and sustainable communities.
Some people presume that economic developers are only found in the municipal context. Our approach sees things a little differently. We believe that there are economic developers in private business and that there are consulting economic developers. We also define communities as communities of interest, and not just local government.
How economic development helps communities:
Increased Tax Base – the additional revenue provided by economic development supports, maintains and improves local infrastructure.
Business Retention – up to 80% of job creation is from the existing business base. When economic development communicate effectively with local business they are more likely to stay in the community and contribute to the economy.
Economic Diversification – a diversified economic base helps expand the local economy and reduces a community’s vulnerability and dependence on a single industry sector.
Job Development – economic development provides the environment in which better wages, benefits
and opportunities for advancement occur.
Self-sufficiency – a stronger economic base means public services are less dependent on intergovernmental influences, alliances, and transfer payments which can change with each regime change.
Land Value and Use – land and property is used for its highest and best use to maximize its value. When economic development is applied, it optimizes the use of land and resources.
Recognition of Local Products and Services – successful economic development occurs when locally produced goods and services are consumed in the local market to a greater degree and recognized as unique SKU’s in the broader marketplace.
Quality of Life – more local dollars and jobs increase economic stability for the entire community, including the overall standard of living for the residents.
How economic development helps business:
Providing the first contact in a community, that acts as a business concierge.
Providing demographic profiles to companies interested in locating in the community.
Providing the connection between business and all levels and forms of government.
Assistance in resolving where possible, issues related to permitting, approvals, public perception and information.
Assistance in making introductions to programs and services that may assist the company’s ability to grow
Assistance in making introductions to programs and services that may assist the company in finding new markets
How economic development helps members, taxpayers and shareholders:
Coordination between public and private interests for the common good.
Ensuring that outcomes are balanced between social, environmental, economic and governance outputs.
Ensures fair play among interests for the benefit of the overall community.