Economic Development Resource Center

State, county and municipal governments often seek to improve local economic conditions by working with private sector entities. In general terms, economic development consists of the following steps:

  • Create a Vision and Plan.  A unit of government must identify its goals, like employment opportunities for residents, or a better quality of life. It should also identify the broad strategies it will use, as well as the limits it will observe. As part of this step, a government’s finance and economic development staff should work together to form a partnership.
  • Find Opportunities. By using incentives and other tools, a government can create conditions or an environment that helps to promote economic development; thereafter, the most cost-effective opportunities can then be selected.
  • Do the Deal. Economic development projects often require a formal contractual agreement with private sector entities. After the deal is signed, the vision must be implemented.
  • Monitor & Adjust. Economic development projects are often complex with many uncertainties. Therefore, progress must be carefully managed and course corrections should be applied as the project unfolds.

 

GFOA Best Practices and Advisories

GFOA has identified the following best practices related to Economic Development.

Create a Vision and Plan

Find Opportunities

Do the Deal

Monitor/Adjust

 

Resources

GOVERNMENT FINANCE REVIEW GFOA RESEARCH

 

Other Links

ICMA Knowledge Network for Economic Development

International Economic Development Council

Economic Development Division of the American Planning Association

The Council of Development Finance Agencies