What is Economic Development?
Economic Development is all about making the place you live awesome! When we talk about the economy, we're talking about how money is made and spent in a specific place. If someone starts a business, they can make money. They hire employees and pay them. Those employees spend money at other businesses in their city. The more people make, the more they will spend and that's good for the community and economic development. It also means as companies and people become more successful, they find ways to contribute to making the place they live even better.
Business Owners (the local economy)
The economy of a city is made up of many different types of businesses. Some are shops with storefronts that people can visit and purchase items. Others make and ship products. There are so many types of businesses that make up an economy. Local businesses are the heartbeat of the economy of every city. In our video, we talk about the ice cream shop owners who came to this country with the dream of opening their business. A city that supports economic development like this will thrive.
Business Retention & Expansion
When a business becomes successful, they can hire more employees to meet their customers' needs. Maybe they'll open up another location, or perhaps a factory, like our business owners did in the video. Their ice cream became so popular, they decided to open a production facility to be able to make more ice cream to serve their growing number of customers around the world. Economic development agencies can support companies to not only keep their operations in a city, but to expand them as well.
Talent attraction is very simply finding people with the right skills to fill job openings in a company. Every company needs to have a strategy to find the right people for the right jobs. Since our ice creamy company was growing, they needed people with expert skills to help them, like people who are flavour experts or people who know how to get ice cream delivered all over the globe. Economic development organizations specialize in the 'big picture' of a community. They work with universities, colleges, companies, and immigration groups to encourage the right people with the right skills to move to a city, but they also look at trends to see what kinds of skills people might need for jobs in the future.
In the video, our city becomes so well known for ice cream that we got a new slogan - the Ice Cream Capital of the Universe! The local tourism agency can now promote our city to people who love ice cream. When visitors come to a city, they spend money by staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, and shopping at local stores. But an even bigger scoop is the fact that our city now has so many ice cream experts that people want to learn from them, which give us the opportunity to host big conventions so people can get together to discuss all things ice cream. All those people who come from around the world to these conventions will also spend money in our city which helps to grow the economy. Sometimes, those same people who visit our city, love it so much, they decide to move here and stay!
Foreign Direct Investment
Foreign direct investment is a pretty big name for a pretty simple concept. When a company comes to a new country to expand its existing business, that's foreign direct investment. In our video, Global Cone Co. saw an opportunity to come to our city because so much ice cream was being produced and sold. And as we all know; ice cream and ice cream cones are just meant to be together. Economic development organizations specifically look for companies in other countries that might work well with companies in our city and that could mean more jobs and money in our economy.
Partners - Government and Associations
A lot of work goes into building and growing a business but there are many people that can help. City, provincial, and federal governments can support the business by lending them money or giving them a break on their taxes. Industry associations, which are a group of people who work together to support a particular industry (for example, the Ice Cream Makers Association) can help along the way. Economic Development organizations can support the businesses in figuring out where to open their office, help them work with governments and find workers with the right skills to join their company.
Quality of Life
For economic development to happen, a city has to provide things that make people happy. People that work and live in a city want to enjoy their life when they aren't at work. That might include things like being in a great neighbourhood in a nice house with a big backyard close to good schools and universities for their kids, or an apartment with lots of restaurants, shops, and fun things to do, like cool attractions and festivals. All of those things create a great quality of life. When businesses succeed, people succeed, and the entire quality of life in a community improves.