Why Do Economic Development?
One purpose of economic development is to create a vibrant local economy.
On a personal level, a vibrant local economy helps people fulfill their potential and pursue their dreams. It provides them the financial means to support an aging parent or care for a special needs child. It provides the means to buy a new car or have a nicer place to live. It means being able to donate to causes that are important to you. It’s the freedom to leave a stifling job for another or to even strike out on your own. It’s about having the ability to travel or continue your education or your children’s education. It’s about leaving a legacy.
On a community level, a vibrant local economy helps replace lost jobs. In the natural course of things, through the process of “creative destruction,” communities will lose 10-15% of their jobs annually. During the “great recession”, Larimer County lost a net 6,159 jobs that need to be replaced.
Benefits of Economic Development
A fuller description of the benefits of economic development can be found in “An Economic Agenda for Fort Collins, Colorado” at FortCollinsWorks. In short, they include attracting and creating new jobs, retaining existing jobs, increasing the tax base, providing stability and diversification of the economy, self-sufficiency, appropriate use of existing land, enhanced quality of life, improved quality of life, and community pride and reputation.