• Two national initiatives are designed to encourage more inclusive and equitable economic development within cities. The Equitable Economic Development Fellowship (EED) from the National League of Cities (NLC), PolicyLInk and the Urban Land Institute is a two-year effort to help equity, transparency, sustainability and community engagement become driving forces in local economic development efforts. With support from the Surdna Foundation and Open Societies Foundation, NLC and its partners are providing technical assistance to cities “to help them pursue more equitable and inclusive economic development policies and programs in traditionally underserved communities.” Participating...

  • Economic development organizations play an important role helping communities recover following disasters. Industry leaders have created or curated the following valuable resources for individuals and entities engaged in all aspects of economic recovery. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with funding from the US Economic Development Administration has been a leader on issues surrounding rebuilding local economies post-disaster. Lynn Knight, IEDC's Vice President of Knowledge Management and Development, recently shared the following: IEDC is committed to sharing resources and best practices that help communities build back quickly and better after a disaster....

  • 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...

  • The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) recently released a report on Bioscience Innovation in the States: Legislation and Job Creation through Public-Private Partnerships. This biennial report provides a good summary of state initiatives serving the industry plus a discussion of new developments and trends by state. Offerings by state 16 states offer matching grants for Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to accelerate early stage development 25 states offer tax credits to angel investors or other early-stage fund investors who invest in technology companies including the biosciences 38...

  • 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...