Strategic Planning for Magnetic Communities

With a vision to prosper locally in the global economy, community leaders strive to generate a positive cash flow, which is achieved by implementing economic development strategies that attract new money to, and retain/circulate existing money in, the local economy. As more money becomes available for spending, businesses grow, create jobs and pay dividends; residents improve their personal well-being by earning enough money for better housing, healthcare, education, leisure activities, etc.; and governments generate the tax revenue necessary to provide the services residents and businesses need to succeed. As community wealth and personal well-being grow, the community’s vision of prosperity is realized.

The Strategic Plan

Goal – Implement economic development strategies that create a prosperous community. (Prosperity is defined as community wealth and personal well-being.)

Objective – Create a local economy with a positive cash flow, or a net gain of money flowing into the community.

Strategy 1. – Attract new money to the local economy

 Action – Recruit, expand, start and retain businesses that sell products and provide services to customers outside the local economy and to tourists.

When local businesses sell products and provide services to customers outside the community or to tourists, new money is attracted to the local economy.

Action – Expand, retain and start locally owned and operated businesses.

Unlike branch businesses, locally owned and operated businesses also attract profits to the local economy.

Action – Increase the number of out-commuters.

By increasing the number of residents who commute to jobs and earn paychecks outside the local economy, communities attract new money.

Action – Increase the number of resident-workers paid from outside sources.

By increasing the number of workers (Federal/ State employees, telecommuters, etc.) who live and work locally but are paid by outside entities, new money is attracted to the local economy.

Action – Increase tourist spending.

When tourists purchase goods and services, new money is attracted to the local economy.

Action – Increase the number of retirees.

Retirees attract new money when they receive pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.

Action – Maximize the inflow of money to local government.

Because most government revenue is generated from local taxes levied on residents and local businesses, any new money attracted to the local jurisdiction is at a premium. Grants, fees for service, intergovernmental transfers, etc. must be pursued aggressively.

Strategy 2. – Retain and circulate money already in the local economy.

 Action – Purchase locally available raw materials, products and services.

When local businesses, residents and governments purchase raw materials, products and services locally, money is circulated and retained in the local economy.

Action – Recruit, expand, retain and start businesses to fill gaps in locally available materials, products and services.

When materials, products and services are not available locally, recruiting a supplier, expanding an existing business or starting a new business are all options available to fill gaps and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Action – Hire residents and request that nonresident applicants relocate to the community if hired.

When local businesses and governments hire residents and request that nonresidents relocate to the community, payroll dollars have a better chance of being retained and circulated locally.

Action – Convert in-commuters to residents.

By converting in-commuters (nonresident-workers) into residents, payroll dollars have a better chance of being retained and circulated in the local economy.

With the preceding core economic development strategies and proposed actions in place, communities are able to add individualized goals related to marketing, leadership, target industries, strategic alliances, etc. to the strategic plan. But do not forget that the overall objective is to create a local economy with a positive cash flow.