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.

view from street of empty bakery

Is Success Making CDFIs Too Risk-Averse?

Shelterforce's Miriam Axel-Lute in conversation with Ed Gorman of NCRC on whether community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are taking enough risk, and therefore, falling short of their mission.

Vacant Storefronts: They’re Not Just For Ghost Towns Anymore

From the City of Millville way down in South Jersey to Morristown up in the northern state suburbs, downtowns across New Jersey are approaching...

In Hawaii, A Holistic Approach to Treat a Broken Economy

Ho‘owaiwai—genuine wealth—was mentioned last month as wealth that was beyond financial; wealth that included our relationships with our family,...

The Hidden Threat of Tax Cuts to Equitable Economic Development

Although the Trump administration’s recent budget proposal offers only a look at expenses, with no numbers on revenue, it won’t be long before massive...

How Not To Do Economic Development

Camden is one of the most distressed cities in the United States, and if any city needs state help...

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...

Less Pasture, More Concrete in Rural Future?

“From concrete to pasture.” That's how one might characterize my relocation a couple years ago from Boston to Central Virginia. Boston is a place where...
A retail saleswoman at a counter.

When Work Creates Insecurity

Many of us think that any employment, even part time, provides a measure of security. This is not the case for the millions of...

Are You Subsidizing Big Business?

Massive corporations, not start-ups or local job creators, get the lion's share of state and local development incentives.
A sticker on a window promotes Bernal Bucks, a business initiative in San Francisco.

Why Your Community Should Kick the Subsidy Habit

Corporate incentives won't help communities thrive, even distressed ones. But nurturing local businesses will save municipalities money and promote the growth of income, wealth, and jobs.

Clearing a Path to Employment for Veterans

Veterans tend to have many job skills—but translating that into civilian employment is often harder than it should be.

The Swiss Army Knife of Community Development

Across America—in inner city neighborhoods and rural towns alike—the level of economic and social distress is rising. Although these...

R Street Apartments: Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Goes Green

Once marked by underinvestment and criminal activity, few neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. have undergone as significant a redevelopment over the last decade as the historic Logan Circle neighborhood.

Keeping the Jobs in House

Humboldt Construction Company, a subsidiary of a Chicago CDC, has been providing local employment for over 30 years. But it hasn't been easy.

Focus on Scale Up, Not Start-up

To truly transform local neighborhoods, we must shift our attention to invest in enterprise scale, not start-ups, as a long-lasting solution for creating good jobs.

Using City Government to Build Community Wealth

While the two major party presidential candidates have many differences, both agree on the primacy of free enterprise.  Mitt Romney...

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 […]

Why Eds and Meds Matter for Community Economic Development

A recent article in Atlantic Cities by Richard Florida, titled “Where 'Eds and Meds' Industries Could Become a Liability,”...

Manufactured Locally

While there is much debate about the state of large-scale domestic manufacturing, a few places are quietly supporting local manufacturing for items that have been made overseas for some time, from jewelry to jeans.

Small Dollars, Big Returns

So what can you make happen with a domestic impact investment anyway?