Economic Development

Economic activity is a crucial part of a healthy community, whether it’s access to quality jobs for residents, business support, or a functioning, diverse range of retail options.

“Women- and Minority-Owned Businesses” Is a Meaningless Category

How many times have you seen the phrase “women- and minority-owned businesses” or seen an organization list a single...

Q: What’s the difference between community economic development and traditional economic development ?

A: A lot! In fact, they are so different that the Democracy Collaborative, which made the chart below, has coined the term “community wealth building” to set apart the truly community-oriented practitioners of economic development.

Why Do Low-Income Residents Oppose Development Even When Displacement Risk Is Low?

There’s more than one way to be excluded from your community.

Small Numbers, Great Expectations: A Case for Rural Investment

“Drop dead” wasn’t an acceptable answer to urban decay in the 1970s. And it isn’t the right answer for struggling rural areas today.

The Whole City’s Watching

A legacy of racial strife hangs over Little Rock, Arkansas, the city internationally known for the 1957 Central High School Crisis, in which an...

Hitting Construction Hiring Goals

How do you ensure that the jobs a new development is supposed to bring to a community actually go to underrepresented populations?

Questioning the Core of Charlottesville’s Economy

What makes a local economy thrive, not just on the surface, but deep down? I found myself...

Why CDFIs Should Go To College

              During three decades of working to close the financial gaps that confront a disproportionate number of low-income, minority...

Cape Cod’s Fish Pier Is Tourist Bait

Last year I wrote on Rooflines about a personal connection I had to the time when Cape Cod, that...

Investing in Communities Key to Obamanomics

With the Dems convening in Denver, the New York Times Magazine offered us David Leonhardt’s review of ‘Advanced Obamanomics’ on Sunday, August 24. In...

Why Don’t We Build It Ourselves?

Humboldt Construction Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago CDC Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, has been providing local employment and high-quality work for over...

Will The Creative Class Fly Back?

Perhaps this is a pointer to where America’s recovery will come from. Some of the less fashionable parts of the country may quietly get...

Tracking Job Creation in the Nonprofit Sector

Rick Cohen, a long-time Shelterforce contributor and editor of The Nonprofit Quarterly‘s “Cohen Report” wrote last week on the importance of nonprofits tracking their...
Black-and-white photo of DACA information table.

Defending DACA Is a Moral and Economic Imperative

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants. Over the course of its five-year history,...

Expanding the Scope of Community Development

More than four decades of suburban growth have moved demographic, political, and economic power from central cities toward their suburban counties. The change can...

Hubs Help Move the Local Food Movement to the Next Level

It’s not unusual to read a press release from a governor’s or mayor’s office celebrating a deal to bring a new company to a neighborhood or city. Typically we’d be talking about a new manufacturing or tech firm, and the press release would speak glowingly of the prospects for economic development. Which makes a bit […]

News Flash: Rural Places and People are Becoming Irrelevant

The other day Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, got into the headlines with a speech in which he...
mallach book cover

Can Cities Fix Their Polarization Problem? A Review of The Divided City

How different would cities look and how different would people’s lives be if those with the power to set policy and invest resources prioritized the most vulnerable residents and the neighborhoods they live in?

Carrots, Sticks, and Economic Justice

Once upon a time, I saw the problem of providing responsible financial services as purely a policy problem. We...

Underneath the Surface, a Community Fish Story

Sometimes I learn about the details of a community's development in the most random ways. My family gets together...