• 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...

  • 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....

  • 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...

  • A new report describes how state administrative data records can support more rigorous analysis and evaluation of economic and workforce development programs. Guest blogger Greg Hirschfeld provides an overview of this useful study. Administrative records, which are data regularly collected through the operation or administration of state or local programs, contain important information on the characteristics and behaviors of companies and workers.  These records, such as corporate tax and unemployment insurance filings, hold great promise to improve program outcomes. The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) report, Improving State Administrative Data Sharing:...

  • Elected officials and community groups are demanding better data on incentive costs and benefits. New tax abatement disclosure rules for state and local government (GASB 77) are one manifestation of this trend toward greater transparency and accountability in incentive use. Will these disclosures fundamentally change how economic development incentives are used? In my opinion, the broader trend toward greater transparency will have more lasting consequences than the specifics of the GASB disclosure rules. Still, these disclosures will change the public discourse around incentives. My expectation is that GASB will have the following effects: Some...

  • The City of Lawrence, KS, offers a good example – and sets a high standard – for economic development incentive reporting in its 2015 Annual Report: Economic Development Support & Compliance. This post is part of an occasional series examining state and local reports assessing economic development incentive programs. Compliance in context In the Smart Incentives 4x4 framework, we emphasize data, analysis, transparency and accountability throughout the incentives process and distinguish between compliance and evaluation in the reporting phases. Compliance emphasizes monitoring whether incentivized companies have fulfilled the terms of their...