So what exactly IS economic development anyways?

People often ask us what services we provide, to which we respond, “economic development, social media and marketing consulting”. The last two are pretty easy to understand, however, economic development can be slightly difficult to describe. The ever popular Wikipedia begins defining economic development as “policy makers communities standard of living economic health of a specific area.” But what exactly does this mean?

Economic development is all around you; it’s something you experience or interact with every day of your life. In a nutshell, it’s the process of creating jobs and increasing the tax base. From high paying manufacturing jobs, to the barista who serves you coffee at your neighborhood coffee shop- all the development you see when driving through your community is economic development in some capacity.

At times, people forget that money is needed to operate and maintain cities, counties and school districts, however raising taxes is not always necessary to create additional revenue. Increased revenue can result from business expansions (that increase total taxable market value; same rate, more money generated) which are made possible through innovative programs, incentive plans, proper planning and creative collaborations. Municipalities can market existing resources and programs through social media platforms, provide support and technical assistance to businesses and prospects and work with local schools to complete projects and ensure relevant curriculum is offered.

Businesses are the root of economic development, and contribute through the taxes they pay, the people they hire and their decisions to open a new location, or expand on their existing facility. However, to do this successfully, there needs to be the right people involved, and key components in place. Think of it like cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your family. Not only do you need the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberries, but you need a kitchen, utensils, preparation time, funds to purchase the groceries, appliances to create the food, and most importantly: the people you care about in your life to enjoy the experience with you.

Economic development is no different. Available sites, roads, sewer lines, funding mechanisms, entrepreneurs , viable business plans, qualified workforce, regional competitiveness, public safety, elected officials, environmental sustainability… the list of components goes on and on. And unless you have a college degree and years of experience with it, chances are a lot of these things may seem foreign to you. That’s where we come in. We help businesses and municipalities put all the parts together, and work hard to keep the process moving forward.

People often wonder why their community doesn't have a (insert name of a popular restaurant or retail establishment here); chances are, it’s because there is a key economic development component missing. The perfect blend of everything mentioned thus far has to be in place.

Sound confusing? It can be, but at Decklan Group, we help facilitate and lead the way to make sure this happens. We do the research to find the perfect location for your business, available grants and incentive programs and provide the tools and resources necessary to put you on a path for success. If you’re a community who needs help, we put together customized plans to help you stay competitive to not only retain your current businesses, but attract new businesses to your community.

Why do we do this? Because far too often, we see businesses stifled because they've found the process to confusing, and cities miss out on huge opportunities for their community because they didn't have the time or resources necessary to make a project happen. And at the end of the day, missed opportunities can equate to higher taxes, and job loss for a community and no one wants to see that happen. When we can help businesses succeed and communities grow, we all win.