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
- Small businesses growth and retention - Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD), Taunton, MA: In a 2013 CEDS update, SRPEDD envisions that by the year 2020, the economy of southeastern Massachusetts will meet or exceed the conventional measures of economic performance relative to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States. Southeastern Massachusetts embraces the need to support and nurture indigenous local businesses as a high regional priority. For example, the Southeastern Economic Development Cooperation (SEED) assists and supports small businesses in their start-up phase in order to help prepare them for traditional bank financing. SEED Venture Finance manages SEED Ventures LP, a $20 million Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) focused on investments in small and medium sized businesses in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Economic Development Resources
- NARC Economic Competitiveness Planning Report (April 2013): In partnership with the McKnight Foundation, the Metropolitan Council (Minneapolis, MN) and MZ Strategies, LLC, NARC released Planning for Regional Competitiveness: For Regional Economic Partners in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area. Thirty peer regions were surveyed, providing a status assessment of current regional economic competitiveness and equity planning efforts nationwide. The report also conducts a deeper analysis of three case study regions and proposes five recommendations to regional stakeholders in planning for economic competitiveness. A copy of the report is available HERE; a copy of the executive summary is available HERE.
- Economic Development Administration
Contact: Autumn Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.986.1032 x225