2010 Trends in Economic Development

One of the biggest challenges of economic development is getting jobs into the area, and since we are in a jobless recovery, and the stimulus package whereas, it might have helped a little bit, it certainly is not providing very many jobs. Some economic development associations in some areas are trying to provide jobs in the alternative energy sector, or in green technologies, but none of that is moving very fast right now. Many believe things will not accelerate in that area until after 2015.

Most regions want to have clean industries. They do not want to have dirty manufacturing smokestack or polluting type industries. Most all of those major industries have moved to China anyway, where labor is cheaper and environmental controls are lax. All these trends right now in economic development should be expected to continue.

Before the big economic collapse in late 2008, many economic teams were trying to bring people back into the city and do downtown revitalization projects. However, with fewer people working, and the retail sector getting hammered, many of the restaurants, movie theaters, and downtown retail spaces now have “for lease” signs inside rather than any businesses that are providing jobs, or a significant tax base revenue for the local cities to continue.

Many enterprise zones or areas where the money taken in tax revenue was going back to the same area to promote economic development have failed. One of the biggest ones was on the North-side of the Las Vegas Strip, where things were going along good, and there was construction of new casinos, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, and businesses. The entire project collapsed, and all the buildings stopped dead in its tracks; everyone was laid off.

One of the biggest problems now is local community banks are worried about their liquidity issues, and they don’t dare loan too much money for fear they might be closed or taken over. Until the commercial credit markets loosen up, and until we deal with the commercial real estate issues in our nation, economic development will be difficult, but not entirely impossible.

In 2010 you will see more attempt to unite the community and get the community involved, encouraging local citizens to participate and come out and support local businesses. You will also see more by local programs trying to make the situation better.

You will also see a lot more marketing and branding going on than usual. Because right now until commercial credit markets unfreeze, the only thing they can do that would be positive is to get the community involved supporting the local businesses and projects. I hope you will please consider this.