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.

Operation Neighborhood Recovery and the Future of Community Development

Urban Essex County, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit areas in the state by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, could be the laboratory for an ostensible reinvention of community development, as a local CDC there announced today the successful acquisition of 47 mortgages on troubled properties with an eye toward stabilizing neighborhoods in some of the oldest suburban communities in New Jersey.

En Mass.: CDCs Generate $1B in Economic Investment from ‘07 to ‘10

A new report issued by the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations that documents the collective impact of CDCs across the state shows CDCs...

Time for Worker Cooperatives to Go Mainstream

Cities are at the crosswalk of talent and density, and they have a lot to lose by not thinking...
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.
Yellow sign reading 'Aloha.'

Reflecting and Planning Using a Community Wealth Building Lens

Over an organization’s 25 years in existence, how do staff and volunteers measure impact and build off of lessons learned to guide their next steps forward?
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.

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.

CDCs Step In Where Banks Fear to Tread

Early in 2010, the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program released a report indicating that half of the $1.4 trillion in...

Farming With Benefits

One of the many striking commercials that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl was a celebration of the American farmer, although...

Local Hire: Popular and Controversial

In March, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx began moving toward fully implementing “Local Hire,” a new, year long model program...
A trainee wearing a white hardhat fixes a light fixture in an apartment.

Making a Success of Local Hire

Local hire policies are among the strongest strategies for bringing good job opportunities to disadvantaged communities, but adding more provisions to specifically target those with the most barriers to employment can make local hiring practices even more effective.
The spires and statue atop an old bank building.

CRA “Reform” Under Trump Threatens Communities of Color and the 99 Percent

Banks enjoy consumer and taxpayer-funded privileges, such as deposit insurance, and not too long ago, subsidized trillion-dollar bailouts. It’s not too much to insist that they invest a fair share of those dollars back into all of our communities.

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.

Baltimore: What The NYT Didn’t See Fit to Print

Editor’s Note: The sixteenth and seventeenth paragraphs of this post have been revised to clarify the controversy over the two research studies mentioned. Johns Hopkins...

Eds and Meds and the Three-Legged Stool of Economic Development

My first reactions to Richard Florida's recent attempt to tip the sacred cow of “eds and meds” (universities and hospitals)...

Control of Farmland, City Style

I have thought a lot lately about the issue of land ownership for farmers, and the barriers they face to buying land so they can plan for growing their business and serving more food consumers. This issue really matters on the edges of metropolitan areas, where farmers can find lucrative markets for their products and […]
A panel discussion about Opportunity Zones in Chicago.

Who Will Benefit From Opportunity Zones? It’s Still Unclear

Who will benefit most from these investments remains the biggest question.

Can The Silk City Forge Its Next Industrial Revolution?

New Jersey's Paterson is among the nation's oldest planned industrial cities, but it has fallen on hard times since the once-booming silk industry there declined in the latter half of the 20th century. Much of the industry in this city of 150,000 has since left, but now a geological attraction once envisioned by Alexander Hamilton as something that could be harnessed for industrial might, is fully protected, and could be channeled, this time, for its community-building potential.

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.

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...