• Download our latest presentations on smart incentives use: The Seven Ms Model: An Approach to Economic Development Due Diligence -- A framework for evaluating expansion and relocation projects. Build A Smart Incentives Package: Community Impact Models -- Analytical tools to assess the quality of an incentive deal for your community. Research Tools and Methods to Assess Incentive Applicants -- Business intelligence resources to learn about companies that are potential recipients of incentives.

  • 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...

  • The report on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) released by the State’s Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) earlier this month has been called scathing and a “punch in the face.”  Here is an excerpt: WEDC did not have sufficient policies, including some that are statutorily required, to administer its programs effectively. We found that WEDC awarded some grants, loans, and tax credits to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and for amounts that exceeded specified limits. In addition, WEDC did not consistently perform statutorily required program oversight duties, such as monitoring...

  • Promoting transparency is one of the core principles of Smart Incentives, so I spent a day last weekend at Transparency Camp, sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation. As the web site says, Transparency Camp helps share knowledge about how to use new technologies and policies to make government work for the people and to help people work smarter with our government.  Code for America and CityCamp are two initiatives that have spun out of the program. So, what did I learn at #TCamp2013? There is still a lot of work to...

  • Is a 64% compliance rate satisfactory for economic development incentive programs? This article is part of an occasional series examining state and local reports evaluating economic development incentive programs.  Here we look at Ohio’s 2012 Report to the General Assembly: Award Recipient Compliance with State Awards for Economic Development, prepared by the Ohio Attorney General. As the title suggests, this report’s purpose is to monitor the compliance of economic development award recipients with agreed-upon terms and conditions.  It does not consider economic impact in Ohio or company actions beyond the...

  • Thanks to Monika Jansen and UberStories for a great interview!  As a business founder I really appreciate the chance to tell my story to a new audience. See the full interview here and check out the other Spotlights as well!

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