The Smart Incentives 4x4 Framework

| Posted in accountability, data, deal, incentives, recipient | | No Comments

Here at Smart Incentives, we look at economic development incentives as a process – not a transaction.  Incentives are a means of achieving your community’s economic development objectives, not just winning a deal.  

This is the framework we use to think about how to use incentives effectively.



Our four core principles are that a) we use specialized data and analytical tools to support decision-making throughout the incentives process, and b) we help the economic development profession prepare for greater transparency and accountability in the use of incentives.   

We apply these principles to the four different stages of the incentives process:

  1. Recipient – As you begin the negotiation, have you done your due diligence on the company applying for incentives?  Are you prepared to explain your decision to your community?
  2. Deal – Are you confident you have negotiated a good deal that is likely to generate real benefits for your community? Can you justify this deal to your board, elected officials, and your community?
  3. Compliance – Once the deal is signed, how will you know if the company has complied with the incentive agreement and met its commitments to your community?  Can you answer questions on individual and program compliance rates?
  4. Effectiveness – Do you know if your incentive programs have helped your community achieve its economic development objectives?

This week founder Ellen Harpel will be speaking on how to implement two different parts of this process.

Wednesday, May 22, 2:00 pm: IEDC webinar, “Build a Smart Incentives Package: Community Impact Models” with John Cappellino of the Erie County (NY) Industrial Development Agency.  Keywords: analytical tools, accountability, deal

Thursday, May 24, 3:45 pm: C2ER Annual Conference (Nashville, TN) panel on “Using Research to Improve Incentive Decisions” with Wen Sun, C2ER, and Jeff Chapman, Pew Center on the States. Keywords data, accountability, recipient

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