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.