1/13/2012 5:00:21 PM
Area Development Online: Refocused Economic Development: Less Smoke, More Fire
Area Development Online
Economists predict that slow economic growth, high unemployment, and stagnant incomes for a majority of Americans will be the economic norm for at least the next several years. Outside of a few gateway communities like New York City, Washington, or San Francisco, the pace of corporate real estate remains anemic.
With a weak labor market, uneven commercial real estate market, and projections of slow to modest economic growth for years to come, there is little reason to believe that the next few years will look a whole lot different from the past couple of years in terms of corporate relocation, foreign direct investment, or economic development.
Nevertheless, many communities and businesses have been doing very well recently (especially those connected to technology or energy); and many more are treading water or growing ever so modestly. Economic development programs that target a broader swath of companies, focus more on collaboration rather than competition, and concentrate benefits on the people and places where they are most needed will be better able to support businesses and communities in locations where economic growth is not happening quickly enough. Should our federal policy paralysis ever end, better state and federal policy and program alignment would make these same strategies that much more effective. Read More