Setup for Economic Success

How do you kick off a thriving business community?

Economic development is both an art and a science. It’s not as simple as checking off a list of ingredients, but without some key elements, achieving success can be near-impossible. To build strong, vibrant communities, economic development boards are tasked with finding the right balance of work and play, business and pleasure. That way, communities can encourage businesses to build, expand or relocate, as well as homeowners to put down roots and support those businesses as customers and employees.

One factor communities must consider is transportation. Good transportation is not only dependent on a community’s infrastructure, but also on the location of the community itself. Access to Class I rail lines, major interstates and international airports all support business travel and consumer traffic. Seaports for importing and exporting can also impact how a business operates, manufactures its goods and distributes worldwide.

But transportation is just the beginning. For healthy economic development, you also need a quality workforce for local businesses to employ and a robust residential community to surround and support those businesses. That relies on residential perks such as smart urban design, first-rate schools and libraries and infrastructure for safety and security.

Economic development boards should make their community a place to play as well as work. Places for relaxation and recreation – lakes, oceans, greenspaces, parks, dining, entertainment and more ­– are essential to attracting and retaining residents. It’s not just about great offices, it’s about having a great time and loving where you live.

With these pieces in place, in a community that is well-planned for its residents and well-marketed to potential businesses, that community can grow and flourish.