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Championing Economic Development

Championing Economic Development – EDRP Research Report

Communities agree that supporting local businesses is crucial to local and regional economic vitality. The means to that end can be hotly contested though - how policies are enacted and implemented, who benefits from the policies, what types of resources are used, and others. As the practice of economic development has evolved and become more nuanced – more scientific, data driven, results-oriented, specialized and broader – it has also come under increased scrutiny from stakeholders including elected officials, media, academia, and even some special interest groups.

The Championing Economic Development paper examines the reasons for skepticism and provides recommendations for economic development professionals on how to address these issues both internally and externally. The accompanying handy, easy-to-use toolkit is a one-stop resource for economic developers to champion their efforts and educate all stakeholders on the work they do, why they do it, and how they do it.

Several new tools will continue to be added to the toolkit over the next several months. So be sure to check back often.

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» Executive summary


Tools and Resources

The resources and tools on this page are designed to help economic developers engage and educate stakeholders in their communities about the work they do, why they do it, how they do it and its impacts. More resources will continue to be added over the next several months.

What is Economic Development

Economic development is the intentional practice of improving a community’s economic well-being and quality of life. It includes a broad-range of activities to attract, create, and retain jobs, and to foster a resilient, progrowth tax base and an inclusive economy. The practice of economic development comprises of a collaborative effort involving industry, government and myriad community stakeholders.

» Download the brochure to learn more

Who Economic Development Programs Help and How

This brochure gives a higher level overview of who and how economic development programs help, including examples of some of the services that EDOs typically provide. Whether your organization provides all of these services or just a few, economic development programs around the country impact myriad people's lives in very different and consequential ways.

Download the brochure

Why Invest in Economic Development

» Download the brochure

IEDC is proud to provide this resource, Why Invest in Economic Development, to our members, elected officials, public servants and all those interested in supporting economic development.

The federal government has always played a key supporting role in local and regional job creation. Included in this publication are only a fraction of federally funded programs which are leading the way as we work toward our common objective: a stronger, more resilient, more inclusive economy for all. For a modest investment of taxpayer dollars, these programs consistently offer a high rate of return. Equally as important, they are often working in communities and policy areas that might be otherwise overlooked by larger agencies and programs. By targeting specific services, regions or demographics, these examples of federal economic development efforts are able to be more impactful and would not be easily absorbed or duplicated by other agencies. These programs are an essential part of a broader effort to maximize opportunity for every American.

Federally funded economic development programs included in this publication are not just worthy of our support, but more so, they should be championed.

Use of logos throughout this publication does not necessarily imply affiliation or endorsement.

Hear from experts in the field about how they engage with key stakeholders in their community and build partnerships.

Video: what is economic development?

Immediate Past Board Chair Craig J. Richard, CEcD, FM, discusses proactively engaging with elected officials and the media.

Craig J. Richard, CEcD, FM, discusses the role of key partners and allies in responding effectively to challenges to economic development.