As local government and nonprofit finances get tighter and tighter, it’s time we take a closer look at how we make use of economic development incentives.
Della Rucker, AICP, CEcD, is the Principal of Wise Economy Workshop, a consulting firm that assists local governments and nonprofit organizations with the information and processes for making wise planning and economic development decisions. She is also Managing Editor of EngagingCities.
Rucker’s columns for the Planning Commissioners Journal and PlannersWeb have focused on planning and economic development — and on creative ways of actively involving citizens in the local planning process.
During 2014, we’re pleased to be serializing Della Rucker’s excellent new book, The Local Economy Revolution: What’s Changed and How You Can Help. You can access the contents by going to the Introduction to the book — links to chapters of the book, as they are posted, can be found in the left sidebar of that page.
Local governments often turn to the use of various incentives to promote economic development. But are they based on strategies set out in a local economic development plan? (You do have a plan?)
For many of our communities’ most valuable workers, the very nature of being employed looks nothing like we traditionally think it does. In the U.S., we call many of these folks 1099ers, or freelancers or contract workers.
What’s all this talk lately about walkability? Is it a fad, or does it have legs for local economies?
Communities can help new businesses by sharing information about their assets and their opportunities. It can make all the difference between a hometown success story and a could-have-been-if-only tale.
Della Rucker reflects on a paradox: small businesses thrive on being independent and in charge of their own future, yet small businesses do best when they’re part of a community network that can provide mutual support.
Small businesses are growing in number, economic reach and economic impact … the businesses our communities are dealing with, more and more, are small.
Low taxes! Great Incentives! Central location! How does that make you special? This is an old industrial-era economic development paradigm. Instead, Della Rucker suggests, focus on what makes your community unique.
Message to cities and towns: You can’t get back your past, as much as you might want it. It just doesn’t work.
“I see usability.” That was Della Rucker’s father’s favorite saying — and it carries an important lesson for how we can view our cities and towns.
Della Rucker looks at how — within an environment of rapid change — businesses are increasingly making “little bets.” Is this a model that would also work for local government planning and economic development?
In today’s section of The Local Economy Revolution, Della Rucker talks about selling cars. Find out what lessons that has for local economic development.
Your home grown businesses are the ones that are adapted to your community’s social, cultural, and economic environment — and are often in the best position to anticipate and adapt to changes in the world surrounding them.