What is an Economic Development Plan?

An economic development plan helps you realize your community’s economic vision and take control of your economic future. It can help bring together community residents with private and public sectors. Together you can choose economic development goals and outline how to accomplish those goals. 

An economic development plan should:

  • Outline the economic vision, mission, and goals of a community
  • Outline the economic strategies and specific actions that will be taken
  • Align with your official community plan if you have one, or other plans that a community has in the works
  • Help residents, businesses, and local governments understand the economic priorities for a community

Effective economic development plans help communities respond to economic challenges and seize opportunities. They support collaboration and co-ordination between neighbouring communities.

Who Leads Economic Development Planning?

The economic development plan is often led by an economic development professional like an economic development practitioner or economic development officer, although this can be different depending on the economic development model a community chooses. 

The plan should be reviewed often to make sure it stays up to date. Usually, plans need to be updated every three to five years to align to new community needs and priorities.

What Should an Economic Development Plan Include?

An economic development plan is closely tied to a performance measurement process and is usually made up of around five components:  

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Goals 
  • Strategies 
  • Actions

Use the Strategic Planning Toolkit to find out more about each of these components and what you need to do to develop an economic plan.

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