Economic Development 101

What is Economic Development?

There are as many definitions of "economic development" as there are regions and communities in B.C. Each one has its own opportunities, challenges, identities and priorities. 

As your economic development plan needs to be developed directly with the people who live and work in your community, “economic development” will be different every time.

However, there are some common threads between communities. Economic development strategies often strive to achieve common positive outcomes, such as:

  • job creation, diversification, retention and expansion
  • increased productivity and self sufficiency
  • improved quality of life for residents
  • increased tax base and a more productive use of property
  • evaluation and promotion of community assets
  • inventory of local products
  • evaluation of a skilled labour force

Before strategic economic development planning can start, there is a foundation of (community) readiness that should take place. These are based on three simple principals that will lay the groundwork for your economic development strategy to succeed. 

  • Community Support:  It is important to have the support of your community for economic development plans and budgets. 
  • Partnerships: Strategic partnerships are essential to the success of your economic development strategy. Whether your plans are big or small, partnerships will help to leverage resources, build capacity and encourage collaboration.
  • Timing:  Perfect timing never pre-announces itself. The only thing you can do is be prepared. Ensure your project planning, community support and partnerships are all in place, and when the time is right – success!

Whether your community is large or small, urban or rural, the information you will find here will help you get started on your long-term economic development plan.  

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