Economic Development

Economic development is a process, effort or undertaking to advance the competitiveness and quality of life of a community, area, or region through investments in people, physical infrastructure and technology that create the jobs and wealth, sustainable environments, and workforce necessary in the global market place of today. Economic development is dependent on enterprise development and both involve location work that considers people, market demographics, worker availability, goods movement, services, information technology, and transportation. Regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations are leaders in economic development and known for their ability to collaborate and capacity to bring to the table diverse players to make a difference economically in an area or region.

Economic Development Policy Brief

Economic development is important for the sustained and concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a region. EDA is the only federal agency focused solely on private sector job growth and serves as a vital resource for distressed communities striving to improve their local economies through bottom-up economic development strategies with infrastructure grants, strategic planning assistance, business development capital or technical assistance. According to EDA, its programs help “create new American jobs at a cost of only $2,825 per job” and “leverages over $28 in private sector investments for every taxpayer dollar we invest.”

EDA was last reauthorized under passage of the Public Works and Economic Development Act, which expired in 2008, and there have also been several attempts by members of Congress to eliminate the agency. EDA’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDs) have been beneficial to many regions by bringing together the public and private sectors in creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. NARC and its members support sufficient and sustained funding for the EDA as an important element of public investment in infrastructure development, creating jobs and boosting local, regional and national economies.

NARC Member Case Studies

Economic Development Resources

NARC Resources

Federal Resources

Department of Commerce

Small Business Administration

Federal Regional Commissions

Non-Profit Resources

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