Magnetic Community strategies are divided into five categories: business, tourism, resident, retiree, and government. Each category is further divided into an overview, revenue attraction strategies, and revenue retention strategies. Many Magnetic Community strategies align with traditional economicand community development strategies, and a
The Magnetic Community model promotes strategies that complement each other. For example, if your community can use more overnight accommodations to help extend tourist stays, why not encourage a local entrepreneur or retiree to start a bed and breakfast. The community will have a new locally owned business, a stronger tourism program, and an enhanced tax base. Taking this one step further, if the community can attract a retiree from outside the community to relocate and start the bed and breakfast, the community will also benefit from the retiree’s outside investment, ongoing Social Security checks, and other sources of retirement income.
Broadly defined, economic development is the sustained and concerted actions of policy makers and communities to advance the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. From a Magnetic Community perspective, economic development efforts seek to advance local prosperity by attracting and retaining outside revenue with the goal of creating a positive flow of money into the local economy. In other words, economic development success is measured by the net increase of money circulating in a village, town, city, county, state, region, or country.
Economic development efforts are part of almost every community’s strategy for creating prosperity. Communities endeavor to create new jobs, attract new investment, and improve the area’s overall quality of life by implementing a variety of strategies. Critical to the understanding of how local development efforts impact a community’s prosperity is an understanding of how individual projects and overall development strategies impact the flow of money as it enters, circulates within, and exits a community. This basic concept, although fairly easy to understand, is seldom considered when developing strategic plans or when evaluating projects. By keeping money flow considerations in mind, community leaders and economic developers can insure that development efforts actually end up paying dividends.
Many of today’s economic development strategies and programs are based on business recruitment practices that have not changed in the past 50 years. As a result, money and resources are wasted on efforts that do little to create prosperity. In addition, these strategies and programs are almost entirely focused on attracting outside revenue to the community with little regard for retaining revenue once it enters and is circulating in the local economy.
In the past, business decisions were driven by proximity to markets, access to transportation, affordable labor, etc. Many of today’s technology-based business owners are more interestedin quality of life, housing, and sense of community than traditional location criteria. Amenities such as open space, trails and recreation are important. In many communities, jobs follow people, in that young people will find a place they want to live, move, find a job, and then start a business or work remotely. Many entrepreneurs look for an ideal community before starting a business, especially those who can live anywhere there is a connection to the internet. More and more, working age individuals rate community higher than a job.
A strong community development effort, one that produces great schools for children, cultural and recreational opportunities, a clean safe environment, a variety of shopping and eating opportunities, social services and excellent medical care, will appeal to current residents and help attract new residents. Many bedroom communities within commuting distance of good jobs have prospered by creating environments conducive to the needs of current and potential residents. At the same time, many communities with good paying jobs have been denied the prosperity they seek simply because they did not create the assets necessary to attract and retain residents. As a result, many traditional employment centers and residential areas have suffered from the outflow of residents and money to communities with a better quality of life and up-to-date assets.