Why Economic Development Matters to a Community

A great quality of life, diverse industries with good paying jobs, a fortified economy that helps insulate downturns, and the ability to retain businesses help a community become stronger and this becomes cyclical and ideally snowballs into prosperity for all.

Economic development includes programs, policies, and activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a region by creating and retaining jobs and providing a stable tax base. Ultimately, economic development is a revenue strategy for a community, generating additional tax dollars from new business investment. The practice of economic development requires a collaborative effort involving industry, government, and multiple community stakeholders.

“I believe that RAEDC’s economic development work must be collaborative, accountable, and transparent. Economic development is a team sport that requires cooperation with municipal, industry, and education partners. This partnership, built on trust, allows us to face challenges and identify opportunities together,” states Therese Thill, President of RAEDC.

Economic development programs work to

  • Help local businesses grow, create more jobs and identify new markets
  • Promote the community as a location for economic activity and attract new employers
  • Help existing local businesses solve problems that would cause them to fail, close, or move away
  • Create connections between businesses within the community and between companies working to join our community
  • Attract international opportunities including attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the community or working with businesses in exporting to overseas markets
  • Work with educational partners to prepare residents for available careers, connect businesses to skilled workers, and build the pipeline of future workers in the community
  • Help entrepreneurs and new firms start up and access the resources they need to succeed
  • Improve a community’s quality of life

A vibrant economy is the result of deliberate choices and actions. All communities need an organization that wakes up every day charged with improving the health and well-being of the local economy. That’s what economic developers and economic development organizations do.

The daily work of economic development is critical to the well-being of our community by cultivating opportunities for primary job growth.