Economic Development – Attract New Companies and Grow Your Tax Base

A city’s economic health depends greatly upon the nature and quantity of businesses that operate within its limits. When businesses are spawned in a city or move to a city, the revenue they generate contributes directly into the city’s property and sales tax base.

Any town or city can benefit from the additional revenue achieved by attracting new businesses. Some of the bigger or faster-growing cities place great emphasis on the economic development department within their chambers of commerce in order to actively increase the amount of business conducted within city limits.

Economic development has been an important concept to the health of cities since the origins of the monetized economy. But only recently has so much attention been paid to the active recruitment of businesses to grow a municipality’s tax base.

Many towns and cities have a difficult time attracting the right type of businesses. Economic development specialists have to take into consideration existing infrastructure and the skill and education of their labor force. These factors are a culmination of nearby education and training centers, the availability of quality schools, residential properties, recreational options, and other incentives to motivate companies to set up a business within a town.

If you are responsible for your municipality’s economic development and would like to attract the right companies to your area, here are some steps to follow that will tip the odds in your favor:

1. Develop a profile of your town or city

What are your town’s strengths? What industries currently exist within your city that could complement or supply an incoming business? Is there an educational facility nearby that specializes in a particular industry, such as manufacturing or agriculture? Take into account any resources, whether they be natural, legal, or human, that could benefit a new business.

With this profile in place, you can compare your town to other towns with similar demographics. Are there other towns or cities globally that have similar population sizes, industry mixes, or resident demographics? By benchmarking your town against these comparison cities, you can get a much stronger sense for your town’s unique characteristics.

2. Identify compatible companies

Now that you have much more solid and detailed information about your town’s competitiveness and existing industry at your fingertips, it is time to start looking for companies that fit the bill. Target companies that would complement the existing business climate within your town. By interviewing the owners of existing businesses, you may find that they can identify the types of companies that would make a great addition to your overall business mix.

3. Develop a list of companies and attract them to your city

Now that you know what types of businesses would further your city’s economic goals, you can develop a list of companies who are growing and expanding outside of their current locations. Your city can offer them tax incentives and location scouting to find a fit that is beneficial to the company, the city, and most importantly, the citizens.

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