Who Needs Economic Development and Services?


Who Needs Economic Development Services?

Who Needs Economic Development

Gary Wartik, principal of Vision Economics visits a vintage Arizona city hall. Is there any doubt that an economic development plan is a bit overdue?

Since 2009, local government income has been stretched to, and perhaps even exceeded its limits.  As a result, the staff economic development function became a casualty of the need to balance local government budgets.  Vision Economics considers the economic development function akin to the sales function in the private sector.  Without a strong effort by local government to retain its business base, tools to encourage organic local growth and the ability to spend some effort to attract more business, the business base faces the prospect of being forever weaker than it could be and should be.

Vision Economics is available to fill the gap between the need for economic development, and the budget available on an ongoing funding basis to meet that need.  We are available to work with local government on a contract basis to do the following to meet local governments’ needs:

1)    Review and tune up a local jurisdiction’s existing economic development plan (the “Plan”);

2)    Stay around long enough to implement the changes in the revised plan to make the Plan more current and more relevant to each city’s needs in the current economic environment;

3)    Where no economic development plan exists, Vision Economics is available to local government to provide a full assessment of the economic status and the needs of a community, and to thereafter work with local government to construct a realistic and viable Plan for early implementation;

4)    Vision Economics is also available to work with a local jurisdiction’s existing staff to assist in implementing the new Plan to make it their own.  Most often the staff involved are the City Manager, Finance Director and the Community Development Director, or any combination of the three.  In a jurisdiction that has a strong Council-Mayor form of government, the mayor is often involved in the process. This is a cost-effective approach to meeting economic development needs without the jurisdiction having to fund a full-time economic development office.