Economic Development: Traditional Approaches
Economic development policies aim to grow and strengthen local economies as measured by the number of businesses, job creation, and associated municipal revenues. While there has been some emphasis on growing local businesses, heavy emphasis is typically placed on recruiting new businesses. Efforts have focused on addressing the needs and concerns of targeted businesses including:
- Transportation systems that provide for the flow of goods through local airports, roadways, and railways. Transportation networks are also necessary for access to customers and employee commutes.
- Sound educational systems to provide a workforce pool.
- Quality of life issues including affordable housing, public safety, cultural institutions, recreational infrastructure, etc
- Financial incentives that entice companies to relocate to new communities. These include tax abatements, access to public financing including bonds, low-interest loans, grants, tax credits, technical assistance, discounted real estate, and other resources.
- Well maintained public infrastructure and municipal services that can support business processes. The cost of doing business can be significantly higher in communities with aging infrastructure and poor service delivery.