With the instability of the past 18 months or so, now more than ever communities are working to increase their economic development efforts, to improve the per capita income of their citizens, to enhance their financial sustainability, and the overall long-term quality of life in their communities.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”JFK
While it is important for communities to develop innovative and effective economic development strategies, it is also critical their public funds are obtaining a meaningful rate of return. Naturally, some projects are less likely to provide easily measurable financial returns, therefore it remains imperative that the processes involved in the distribution of funds and accountability for these funds remain visible and in compliance with established guidelines.
The Economic Development Process
Economic development entities are tasked with the acquisition, management, and allocation of public funds as prescribed by their State and/or individual mandates for the communities they serve. The process by which these entities manage this process, and the systems utilized varies from group to group.
For illustrative purposes, we have broken the process down into the following 5 steps:
Most economic development entities utilize a variety of manual and automated systems for managing opportunities from fruition through completion. These disparate systems may not provide maximum efficiency or visibility to interested stakeholders, nor provide a comprehensive means of managing and reporting.
In our next post, we will review each of the steps to understand their complexities as well as discuss features and benefits a unified system could provide.