As a citizen of a community, do you understand what your local governments provide you, and where they spend the money from the taxes that they collect from you? Citizens have grown increasingly apathetic towards government, and non-trusting of local officials, because they might not understand how the money is spent.
Is your community thinking about more jobs, more business, revitalizing your downtown? What’s your role in making that happen? Here’s one option: run for local government office.
Start a community conversation about potential economic development with a community FaceBook page or another social media format.
Do you own or run a small business? Do the changes and news reports about the impact of the 2010 Affordable Care Act have you wondering what it all means for your business? If so, you are not alone.
Community jewels come in many forms. They are precious. Have you hidden yours?
I have heard it said that there are three types of people in the world: Those who can tell you what is going to happen before it happens, those that can explain what is happening while it’s happening, and those who must ask, “What just happened?!”
In today's world of instant access to many types and variations of information, we need to carefully consider its use, relevancy and application.
You hear Economic Development organizations, governments and chambers of commerce touting that a community needs to improve their community's economic growth in order to have a viable community. However, what is Economic Growth?
The more the merrier when it comes to creating a vision for your downtown.
As leaders we are constantly assessing our performance. Setting goals, mapping out objectives, bringing people together, building a resource base are activities that go with the job, but the question remains…are we progressive? As the leader, are we keeping our organization moving in a positive direction. Are there better ways to approach success?
Over the years, during my work in community and economic development, I’ve been continually reminded of the role "values" can play. These come from various levels, including individual, organizational, and community.
The more people are involved in supporting the mission of an organization or the vision of a community, the stronger that community is. Volunteers learn about non-profit and municipal services through volunteering. They practice leadership skills. They get things done.
Too often, community organizations view each other as competitors for funding, clients, media attention and other resources. But it doesn’t have to be a tug-of-war.
When engaging in the development strategy of place-making, often arts are engaged. Can you think of other tools, disciplines, or your own individual interests that could work?
Do you have an idea for business? Have you tried to develop that idea? Many more businesses fail than succeed. In fact, the statistics show that about 75% of first time business start-ups don’t succeed.
In some places entrepreneurial growth abounds. Economic incubators and a creative or innovating culture help support new entrepreneurs.
Members of the Economic and Community Development Extension team were recently recognized at the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals conference in Grand Rapids, MI for their series of webinars on land use issues
In order to achieve your dream house, a lot of planning and decision-making is done before building it. Likewise, in thinking about what a community will look like in the future, planning tools such as a comprehensive plan, a subdivision and land development ordinance, and zoning ordinances are helpful.
Recently I’ve been given the opportunity to serve as Chair of our local domestic violence center’s board of directors. It’s a challenging position and I am thankful to have the pleasure of working with competent, dedicated board and staff members. As a result I’m learning to depend more on others and will discontinue my use of the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” These days I’m all about committee work.
Think about a neighborhood in a community that you just can’t wait to leave; a place with vacant storefronts that may never be filled, or a block without much life. Could a committed group of local volunteers turn that place around in just one day?