CDS Community Development Strategies
The bottom line is that while many businesses claim to be adding jobs to the local economy, relatively few add the more desirable high paying, permanent jobs. This is an important consideration that cannot be overlooked. While a local jurisdiction can liberally provide incentives to "grow at all costs," a more long-term, strategic approach will pay higher dividends. While enticing a small business of 20 employees may not look as good as adding a retail business with 200-300 jobs, that small business is the better investment (from the perspective of a local government that has limited incentive dollars to spend). Adding a handful of higher paying jobs that will allow employees to purchase a home in the area will have a profoundly more positive impact on the local economy than 200-300 part time jobs that will often not shift the economic indicators after closer examination.
About the author: Kirby Snideman is an AICP certified planning professional with a focus in economic development and currently serves as a senior associate at CDS. Originally from Houston, Mr. Snideman has lived, studied, and worked in several places including Utah, New York, California, Iowa, Illinois, Oregon, and London, England.