Economic Development Plans/Programs

Basics of a community’s economic development plan

Identify a community’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (aka SWOT) to determine what course of action is needed to strengthen a community.  Considerations should include the following:


  • Business climate within local govt. & populace
  • Look at diversity of local economy
  • Available office, manufacturing, R & D and retail space to meet expansion & attraction needs
  • Favorable lease & purchase options
  • Level of available workforce, including numbers, employment levels, level of education
  • Consider diversity of job skills needed, existing
  • Develop marketing approach & subsequent advertising plan – social media, webpage, etc.
  • Available housing for lower income, mid-income and executive-level employees
  • Identification of target market for attracting business relocation prospects
  • Availability of local incentives (land, money, employee training, tax incentives)
  • Balance of business community components: 1) retail selection; 2) professionals; 3) medical services; 4) R & D space & jobs; 5) manufacturing space & jobs
  • Availability of developable & re-developable land
  • Tax barriers
  • Community’s need for more services, jobs & tax generation
  • Existing tax base (sales taxes, TOT, income taxes, property taxes) – low, right level, too high?
  • Available infrastructure: 1) Internet; 2) rail; 3) air service; 4) water resources; 5) electric grid, natural gas & other energy resources
  • Growth of jobs – what is target?  S/B higher wage jobs in order to grow the local economy
  • Efforts at business attraction – what are they and what industries or types of businesses should be targeted?
  • Efforts of business retention –
  • Organic business growth
  • Level of local & regional cooperation
  • Level of regional resources of support