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.

An Island Where There Is a Standard

Like so many of its counterparts across the country, Brick’s is more than just a barbershop in Albany, N.Y. It’s a haven in a troubled neighborhood.

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.

Tuscany, Barcelona, Croatia… the Rust Belt?

This weekend, the New York Times suggested Pittsburgh as a destination (for at least 36 hours) alongside these locales, and as of my writing...

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...

Strengthening the CRA

In 1995, the last time federal banking agencies revised the rules of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), they promised to conduct a follow-up review...

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year. The amounts are modest, but the trend is clear—mayors and economic development leaders are beginning to add cooperatives and community wealth building to the economic development toolbox. In […]
opportunity zones construction

Pushing Opportunity Zones to Fulfill Their Promise

Some guidelines to ensure that Opportunity Zones are transformational and not transactional.

Doing Well by Doing Good

With a little knowledge and effort, investors of many kinds can work with financial advisers to learn how to match their investments with their values and build a meaningful portfolio with solid returns.

Extending a Bank Branch to the Community

The systemic closing of bank branches in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods is followed by payday lenders, pawnshops, and check cashing services stepping in to fill the void.

Fighting Wage Theft

Monday brought the announcement of a record 70,000-plus jobs lost worldwide, from drug companies to automakers and everything in between. Meanwhile each year millions of...

Show Up and Be Heard for Rural America

As I was reading recently about China's effort to herd around 250 million farmers and their families from the...

Using Business as a Force For Good

B Corps are for-profit businesses that focus strongly on their social and environmental impact. The movement has grown to 1,800-plus worldwide and now cities, economic authorities, and activists are trying to attract more of these mission-driven and worker-friendly companies to help spur economic growth.
3 women posed at the sides of a sign.

Nun Funds: The Original Impact Investors

Rising out of a practice of shareholder activism that began in the 1970s, Women Religious made the leap from monitoring their investments on Wall Street to becoming pioneers in investing directly in the communities and social justice causes for which they cared.

Despite a Rocky Start, Cleveland Model for Worker Co-ops Stands Test of Time

Even during tough times, the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative has added new co-ops, new workers, and new strategies.

Planning on Shrinking

It’s time to understand that shrinkage is no longer somebody else’s problem.

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.

FHLBanks’ Affordable Housing Progam Can Be a Model for Economic Development Funding

Carol Wayman, federal policy director of the Corporation for Enterprise Development argues in the latest issue of Shelterforce that while community economic developers understand...

IOC’s Rio Pick Could Be Good News for Chicago

My friend Hank Kalet offered a prescient look last week about the potential pitfalls of Chicago being awarded the 2016 Olympic games. The following...

In the South, Politics and Tourism Don’t Mix

The Civil War is big business in Virginia, which saw more than its share of big battles during the...

Crossing Muddy Waters

Rose Johnson stands nervously in a crowded room in Gulfport, Mississippi, surrounded by out-of-towners. With $1,000 in her pocket, she competes in the local...