Economic development is about creating freedom for people and removing obstacles to greater freedom. Greater freedom enables people to choose their own destiny. Obstacles to freedom, and hence to development, include poverty, lack of economic opportunities, corruption, poor governance, lack of education and lack of health. It’s all about building healthy economies in order to have healthy communities.
These are just a few of the ways in which economic development helps communities:
1. Job Development
Economic development provides benefits, better wages, and opportunities for advancement.
2. Increased Tax Base
The additional revenue provided by economic development supports, maintains, and improves local infrastructure, such as parks, roads, emergency medical services and libraries.
3. Economic Diversification
A diversified economic base helps expand the local economy and reduces a community’s vulnerability to a single business sector.
4. Business Retention
Businesses feel appreciated by the community and, in turn, are more likely to stay in town, contributing to the economy.
5. Productive Use of Property
Property used for its “highest and best use” maximizes the value of that property.
A stronger economic base means public services are less dependent on intergovernmental influences and alliances, which can change with each election.
7. Recognition of Local Products
Successful economic development often occurs when locally produced goods are consumed in the local market to a greater degree.
8. Quality of Life
More local tax dollars and jobs raise the economic tide for the entire community, including the overall standard of living of the residents.