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.

Out from Under the Table

An enterpreneurial training program in Detroit has an unexpected side benefit—legitimizing existing but unofficial businesses, and poising them for growth.

Awarded for Smart Growth

It’s an old joke, but in the development sense, the term “smart growth” is an oxymoron in many cases. There’s a reason we celebrate...

What’s Next in Arts & Economic Development

There’s something you should know about me:  I’m a professional amateur.  For the past seven years I’ve been co-writing and...
A rendering of what Port Covington would look like once the decades-long project is completed.

Who Will Benefit from Port Covington?

Advocates, city leaders, and Under Armour's real estate arm negotiate a $660 million tax deal and a vision for economic development in Baltimore.

In Detroit, the Fight for Community Benefits Begins Anew

For equitable development activists, Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance may seem like major progress. And it is—just not how they may imagine it to be.

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.

Interview with Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

Jay Williams was the mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, from 2006 to 2011, at a time when Youngstown was attracting notoriety for making the unusual assertion that, rather than longing for its bygone glory days before the steel mills closed, it was going to embrace a vision of becoming a smaller, yet more vibrant city. (See Shelterforce’s “Small Is Beautiful, Again”, for more on this approach and how it affects low-income residents.) Williams is now assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, and administrator of the Economic Development Administration. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Williams served as the executive director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, and he also served in the White House as deputy director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this position, he led efforts to engage mayors, city council members, and county officials around the country.

Shelterforce spoke with Williams at the conference of the National Alliance of Economic Development Associations last fall in San Antonio.

Walt Weighs In On The Economy

So this is weird: December 5 is Walt Disney’s birthday and I get these two separate Disney things in the e-mail from different people...

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...

Putting the Impact in Impact Investing

Impact investing is a popular idea that promises to channel the power of market capitalism into serving the common...
cleveland streetscape

Remember Slavic Village? It’s Back

A Cleveland neighborhood made famous as an epicenter of the foreclosure crisis works its way back to stability. Here’s how.

Connecting CDFIs and Impact Investors

It should be a natural fit; what’s in the way?

Van Jones: The Green House, Redux

The Spring 2009 issue of Shelterforce ran a brief about Van Jones’ being named White House special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation...

Easing into Investment?

Joe Kriesberg of Mass. Assoc. of CDCs recently took a trip to Cuba with a group of community development colleagues....

Jobs and More Jobs: Organizing’s Economic Impact

In the report, “Jobs and More Jobs: The Economic Impact of Community Organizing,” Gamaliel community organizers add up $13 billion worth of public and private programs that faith, community, and labor leaders worked to create or save through their advocacy efforts in 2012-13, employing nearly 460,000 people. Using commonly accepted economic formulas to measure the […]
Woman construction worker carrying wood

The Paradox of Prevailing Wage

The complicated relationship between the Davis-Bacon Act, Black construction workers, and Black-owned construction businesses in Boston.

The Cooperative Solution

Cooperatives align closely with the goals and values of community developers and deserve more attention as an economic development strategy.

Defining the Creative Economy People

I was pleased to hear at a recent planning workshop that the definition of the creative economy has been expanded. As popularized by Richard...

Reconnecting Shared Visions to Investment Opportunities

Recently, over two sizable cups of locally-roasted coffee, a colleague and I mulled over a simple question: “How can...