• Sustainable economic development is reportedly important to a majority of economic development leaders, yet a triple bottom line approach is not a common practice. Why? The authors of a recent article in Economic Development Quarterly, “The Triple Bottom Line and Sustainable Economic Development Theory and Practice,” offer some reasons and propose a set of remedies. One explanation is that TBL practices “may be adopted without the terminology being applied.” In other words, economic developers may be undertaking activities that are consistent with sustainable economic development values but do not carry...

  • There are literally thousands of state and local incentive programs, many of which are – at least on paper – intended to help people in need or places that have been left behind. Here are several ways in which incentives are designed to achieve the goals of inclusive and equitable economic development. People-based strategies The Policy Agenda for All-In Cities from PolicyLink proposes several strategies for equitable economic development that can be connected to incentive policies, programs, and practices. A set of those strategies is intended to encourage activity to create good...

  • Nestlé announced last week it is moving its US headquarters from California to Arlington, Virginia. We see similarities to other recent headquarters moves, yielding lessons for communities seeking to attract or retain these high profile activities. Corporate strategy and talent are more important than incentives Incentives are meaningful but they rarely drive the decision to make an expensive and disruptive corporate headquarters move. In Nestlé’s case, the company explained that locating closer to its customers, stakeholders and the global corporate headquarters in Europe were all important factors. According to executives, 80%...

  • A new report describes how state administrative data records can support more rigorous analysis and evaluation of economic and workforce development programs. Guest blogger Greg Hirschfeld provides an overview of this useful study. Administrative records, which are data regularly collected through the operation or administration of state or local programs, contain important information on the characteristics and behaviors of companies and workers.  These records, such as corporate tax and unemployment insurance filings, hold great promise to improve program outcomes. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) report, Improving State Administrative Data Sharing:...

  • A recent poll in Virginia yielded some surprising findings about economic development priorities among residents. When asked to choose among three economic development priorities: 47% of respondents selected expanding workforce training and education 25% (!) preferred financial incentives to recruit new businesses, and 23% chose retaining and expanding existing businesses More than half (58%) of the poll’s respondents indicated they are willing to pay more in taxes for workforce training and development programs, but with notable variations along party and regional lines. On the other hand, most were not familiar with...

  • Performance measurement is one of the hottest topics in economic development right now. This month, IEDC will hold a webinar called Measure What Matters: Top Metrics in 2017 (January 18) and C2ER will host a webinar on Promoting Evidence-Based Policymaking by Sharing State Administrative Data (January 25). Our own article on the State Economic Development Performance Indicators White Paper we wrote with CREC was among the most-read posts of last year. (Check it out here in case you missed it.) Given the level of interest, it’s a good time to review the foundation...