Resources for Cost-Benefit Analysis

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How do you know if an incentive deal is good for your community? What are the potential economic and fiscal impacts? And how can you communicate your analysis to elected officials and community stakeholders? Here are three resources I like that can help you answer these questions.

Impact DataSource

Impact DataSource specializes in economic and fiscal impact analysis and cost-benefit analysis including customized incentive analysis. The company has developed an efficient system for preparing timely, affordable and comprehensive economic impact analyses, having conducted more than 2,500 analyses of firms, projects, and development activities in more than 30 states. Impact DataSource also licenses customized impact and incentive analysis models that clients can use in-house to evaluate projects and potential incentives.

My take: Impact DataSource is a great resource when you want a third party to provide an objective impact analysis for individual projects. The analysis can also help users identify appropriate incentive levels per project. Their experience allows them to offer affordable assessments and quick turnaround times.

informAnalytics from CGR

informAnalytics is a web-based tool that makes it possible for economic development specialists to analyze the economic and fiscal impact of proposed projects quickly, consistently and accurately. informAnalytics is fully customizable and generates a variety of easy-to-read reports for stakeholders and decision-makers. 

My take: informAnalytics is for communities that want their own customized, internal model – without having to develop it themselves -- and that want to understand holistic project impact in their region. The output shows costs and benefits at the local, regional and state levels. informAnalytics also automatically generates 3 types of reports designed specifically for Board members, the public and for internal use – a tremendously useful output that can help EDOs communicate the costs and benefits of projects.

REMI

The REMI impact model is already well known. (After all, their tagline is “What does REMI say?”) REMI allows users to develop sophisticated economic development scenarios that reflect the specific nature of an industry or projects, while facilitating adjustments to employee compensation, firm productivity, and the composition of the supply chain. The output includes both economic and fiscal impact.

My take: REMI is best for large, high profile, complex projects. REMI is designed to analyze projects dynamically; that is, it takes into account how the local economy is likely to change based on the investment, rather than assuming project benefits flow through a static economy. REMI has the most sophisticated back-end analytics and an excellent reputation, both of which can help EDOs as they work through complicated incentive packages.

What resources do you use? Are there others you would recommend?

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