Across the United States, many small and mid-size communities are struggling to find an economic development strategy that really works. Thankfully, you don’t have to muddle through this without guidance.
There are three key concepts to keep in mind when developing a smart strategy for economic growth. You’ll want to focus on supporting businesses, supporting workers, and supporting quality of life. Plus, you’ll also want to find ways to support your development strategy and get professional help with moving forward.
It’s pretty obvious that supporting existing businesses and attracting new businesses has a positive impact on a city’s economic development. Doing this helps create jobs, expands and diversifies your tax base, and improves quality of life by offering a variety of services and amenities.
If you’re a small town on a highway (for example), adding a QuikTwip will bring in a lot of traffic/business. That could lead to fast food chains like a Taco Bell or Chicken Express opening locations nearby, driving up sales even more. Not only does retail growth of this kind serve residents, but it also brings in business from outside the community as well.
It’s easy to overlook the human side of economic development, but that would be a big mistake. Studies show that the education level of the population in your city is the single most important factor that shapes economic success. That means your city needs to attract and keep talented, skilled people.
You’ll also want to ensure that all residents can successfully compete for jobs. A balanced economic development strategy will include a focus on workforce development efforts. These efforts will help ensure that the skills and education of the local workforce line-up with the needs of existing and growing industries.
Support Quality of Life
Cultivating a good quality of life in your community supports both residents and businesses. The term “quality of life” is hard-to-define, but it undeniably sets communities apart from one another. It’s one of those things that people know it when they see it but can’t always say exactly what it means.
Factors that can improve quality of life include a thriving downtown or commercial district and a variety of transportation options. Community resources, gathering spaces, and aesthetic improvements also tend to enhance quality of life.
Support Your Strategy
As you develop an economic strategy for your city, getting professional advice can be a game-changer. It’s not always easy to know what to focus on first. Plus, small market communities often have trouble getting retailers to build in your area.
That’s why it’s worth it to hire Retail Attractions. Data is one thing, and it’s important. But it’s another thing when Rickey can call the personal cell phone of decision makers and tell them your site is a prime money-making location. His network of connections brings a lot of extra benefits that just having the data won’t do. Plus, his years of experience with helping cities grow and develop gives him the insight you need to guide you toward supporting businesses, workers, and quality of life in your city. Contact us today to learn more.
If you liked this article, be sure to pick up a copy of Rickey’s new book The Devil’s In the Details: Things that Challenge City Government and the Language of Development. It addresses issues that undermine foundational economic development efforts for cities. It also provides guidelines for how to overcome those issues. Click here to order.