Economic Development Building Blocks
WEDA's Economic Development Principles
WEDA believes that legislative, local and state economic development efforts should provide a consistent strategy to encourage private sector development of companies that provide higher than average wages, create primary jobs, diversify the economy and generate tax revenue.
Legislative and economic development policy and efforts should meet one or more of these criteria:
- Diversifies Wyoming’s economy
- Builds on Wyoming’s existing strengths
- Increases private investment in Wyoming
- Expands the tax base for state or local government
- Creates new, quality jobs
- Improves Wyoming’s competitiveness
- Creates or expands public and/or private infrastructure
- Expands or diversifies the workforce
- Generates funds for state and local governments
- Moves toward more efficient and/or business-friendly government
The foundation of all economic development is leadership. Leaders provide vision, planning, communication, and the ability to bring a community together to think creatively about its future. Partnerships between elected officials, civic organizations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, individual business leaders and community members are essential for a thriving economy.
2. Infrastructure, Workforce & Quality of Life
Wyoming’s quality of life is unique: wide-open spaces, small rural communities and low population are just some of its characteristics. For economic development, important components also include good health care and high-quality schools, police and fire protection, affordable housing, cultural and recreational opportunities, and an attractive environment. Infrastructure like available land and buildings, water, sewer, gas, electricity, telecommunication services and transportation are all critical to successful businesses.
3. Existing Business & Entrepreneur Development
New jobs usually come from expansion of existing businesses. Likewise, local entrepreneurs are usually the best at identifying new product ideas and business opportunities appropriate for their community. Many success stories reflect the power of creativity to improve existing services and facilities as a way to invest in the community and enhance its economic potential.
4. Recruiting New Business
When the other building blocks are in place, a community is prepared to recruit new businesses. We’ve all seen signs of failed economic development efforts—abandoned shopping centers or empty shops along Main Street. To avoid such mistakes it’s critical that all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. Building from the bottom up allows communities to attract new businesses and residents with confidence that they can provide critical support so all business endeavors are successful.