• 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...

  • Last week’s announcement that economic development leader extraordinaire Michael Finney will become president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council is a great opportunity to highlight an innovative incentive program Mike created and implemented while serving as head of Michigan’s state economic development organization. Community Ventures promotes employment and social enterprise in the state’s most distressed urban areas by helping structurally unemployed individuals pursue career opportunities at Michigan companies. The program works through: Employer grants – typically wage reimbursements for employers to cover in-house training and costs related to hiring...

  • 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. First, economic development training and credentialing tends not to address the triple bottom line (TBL) or sustainable economic development. Simply put, professionals are not being equipped to address these issues as a matter of course....

  • 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...