3.) Economic Development | Entrepreneurial Readiness and the Business Environment

A community can improve its ability to undertake economic development activities by having dedicated and knowledgeable staff devoted to community economic development. Dedicated community resources for entrepreneurship and business development, along with supportive leadership and engaged members, are cornerstones of successful economic development. This next section will help you evaluate your community’s economic development resources and processes:

What is your community’s attitude toward local business development?
What types of businesses currently operate in your community? Are there others that you would like to see being developed?
Should the community pursue renewable energy initiatives, e.g. solar, wind, water, bio-energy?
What organizations or committees—Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Enterprise Center, committees of business owners, committees under Council— provide assistance to entrepreneurs in your community to help them start new businesses?
Does your community have an incubator or other facility that helps support the creation and growth of new businesses?
Are youth aware of the concept of entrepreneurship?
Are youth given an opportunity to learn about the various facets of entrepreneurship, e.g. how to write a business plan, how to do a market analysis, how to develop a budget?
Has your community identified public and private sector leaders capable of creating an entrepreneurial environment and acting as mentors?
Does your community have a strategy for improving the entrepreneurial environment in the community?
Do you know what resources your community should be developing in order to create entrepreneurial opportunities?
Have you identified the features and benefits of your community that you should be promoting in order to attract and develop entrepreneurial opportunities?
Is there an organization or committee that provides assistance to help retain or expand local businesses and industry?
Is there an organization or committee that helps recruit new retail, service and industrial businesses?
Does your community market its local industrial properties? How are these marketed?
Are most local businesses owned and operated by community members?
Are local owners of business and industry committed to working with the community on improvements?
How many businesses have closed in the last year?
What is the failure rate of local businesses?
What economic development initiatives in your community have been successfully completed? Why were they successful?
Does leadership know what percentage of the community’s operating budget is spent on human, financial, material and technological resources compared with other communities?