• Economic development professionals and policymakers want to know which of their programs work best. However, a lack of data thwarts many state and local efforts to quantify incentive outcomes, hindering program evaluations.  State administrative data that is already collected from businesses -- such as tax and workforce information -- is a potential resource that can be used to conduct these evaluations.   To figure out how to use this resource, the National Governors Association teamed with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness to offer a webinar on "State Data Sharing to Support Economic and...

  • California recently launched the California Business Incentives Gateway (CBIG), which is striving to bring all of California’s state and local economic development programs and incentives together in a single access point. The objective is to create an Amazon.com-type of shopping experience to help the state’s businesses find the exact programs that match their needs. Guest blogger Darrene Hackler provides the details: The California Business Incentives Gateway (CBIG) is an initiative from the California State Treasurer’s Office. CBIG is a comprehensive online tool that provides detail on state and local business development...

  • State economic development leaders have embraced the need to report program outcomes to demonstrate the impact of their efforts but seek better indicators to measure those outcomes. A new paper from the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, Redefining Economic Development Performance Indicators for a Field in Transition, identifies a set of metrics beyond jobs and investment tallies to capture the broader benefits of economic development initiatives. This effort reflects an ongoing transition within economic development as the field moves from a recession-driven emphasis on job creation via business attraction and retention...

  • What are we achieving with our incentive program spending? How do we get the right data on program outcomes? We tackled these hot topics at last week’s C2ER Annual Conference. Economic development leaders are eager to demonstrate incentive effectiveness, but the question often is, “effective at what?” Unfortunately, many incentive programs lack a clear statement of purpose or explanation of expected outcomes. Figuring out what to measure and report on related to incentives outcomes is frequently a challenge. Remarks by Ellen Harpel of Smart Incentives provided the big picture related...

  • If you are thinking about how to deploy a dashboard for your economic development organization, take a good look at the new Performance Metrics platform from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD). Dashboards like this are a popular way to share information on government program performance. Economic development organizations are increasingly developing their own dashboards or transparency portals to provide better data on incentive use and program outcomes. The TNECD Performance Metrics platform’s purpose, according to COO Ted Townsend, is to “serve as a valuable resource for...

  • Data sharing has the potential to change the way states manage incentive program compliance and evaluation efforts. Data sharing “is a formal process by which state agencies that collect and manage administrative records, such as corporate income tax and unemployment insurance records, may grant other government agencies and outside researchers access to microdata within those records to support authorized activities.” The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) has created the State Data Sharing Initiative to identify ways that economic and workforce development programs can safely and securely access administrative data...