How Do Economic Development Programs Impact the Local Community?

September 17, 2013 6:00 am

Downtown 3Cleaner, safer neighborhoods, interesting new shops, stronger commercial areas, and better transportation can all be the results of the success of economic development programs. These programs are designed to improve neighborhoods, revitalize an ailing downtown area, and take old factories and shape them into something new can help the entire local community. These programs are investing in a future of a community.

Through a variety of tax incentives and exemptions, businesses can get off the ground a little more successfully and perhaps prosper into expansion and provide strong services for the community. In St. Joseph, the city, Buchanan County, and State of Missouri work together with the St. Joseph Metro Chamber to provide multiple economic development strategies to help the city prosper both for residents and on a commercial basis.

Economic development programs can bring new jobs to a town. Through cleaning up old buildings and creating new work spaces, the programs can help attract new businesses to town or help local business owners find a place where they can expand. The DREAM Initiative is a plan to redevelop downtown in order to attract more businesses and increase property tax values. With new businesses come more employment opportunities for the community, less unemployment, and better job satisfaction. New businesses also bring with them a wave of new stores with innovative and interesting products.

Nearly every community has a neighborhood or a district that has dilapidated structures. The Brownfields Remediation Program is a program that aims to help make the community a healthier environment. The program provides financial incentives to help clean up and redevelop commercial or industrial sites that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. Sites that have been abandoned or not used much for at least three years are eligible.

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is another way for economic development programs to help renovate and renew an area. These programs benefit citizens of low and moderate incomes and help beautify the community. As small development projects begin meeting in the middle, the whole community sees a positive impact. Healthier and safer environments began blooming out of the dust of neglect.

Not only do structures, business districts, and neighborhoods improve with economic development programs, but so can transportation. Through Transportation Development Districts, transportation-related projects are funded, designed, created, and implemented in either small areas of town or for the entire town.

Economic development programs can attract new businesses, renovate the walls of old businesses, clean up neighborhoods, and improve transportation ways in towns.  They invite change and revitalization to a community with a helping hand.

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