When colleagues and clients ask, “What are magnetic communities?” I tell them that Magnetic Communities focus their economic and community development efforts on attracting and retaining money, not on attracting and retaining jobs. By focusing on strategies that create a positive cash flow, communities prosper. Prosperity allows businesses to grow; residents to improve their quality of life and governments to provide the services residents and businesses need to succeed.
In April of 2016, I went live with the Magnetic Communities Website. My intention at the time was to introduce economic and community developers, elected officials, community leaders and citizens in general to the proposition that money must be both attracted and retained if it is to maximize local prosperity. Similar to a magnet that attracts and retains bits of metal, Magnetic Communities attract and retain money; a process that produces a positive cash flow and prosperity.
Following the Website’s introduction, I published Magnetic Communities, which contains an in-depth analysis, illustrations and examples of the Magnetic Community process. As a result, the Website www.magneticcommunities.org was revised and condensed to serve as an overview and reference guide for readers of the book. Together, the book, website and blog are a powerful tool for creating prosperous communities.
From a Magnetic Communities perspective, prosperity is defined as community wealth and personal well-being. Small actions by many individuals and organizations can make a big impact on a community’s prosperity: businesses hiring local workers; local governments requesting that new hires live in the jurisdiction; businesses, governments and residents purchasing local goods and services and residents starting small businesses all contribute to the local economy’s health and prosperity.
Magnetic Communities answers the question: Why do some communities grow and prosper while others struggle and decline? The Magnetic Communities website and blog provide a platform for further discussion, feedback, comments and questions. Hopefully, a broad range of individuals, including economic developers, elected officials, community leaders and interested residents will join the discussion.
The Magnetic Communities Blog will be published on the first of the month and will address a wide range of economic development issues and their implication for Magnetic Communities. There is no lack of subject matter! To start with, what is your definition of economic development? Here is mine. “Economic development is the coordinated and sustained effort of communities to improve the wealth and personal well-being of its residents. Success is measured by the net gain in money available for spending.”
By embracing the Magnetic Communities approach to economic development, communities are able to identify and evaluate strategies that create prosperity. The term “Magnetic Communities” serves as a reminder to residents, local leaders and economic developers that money must be both attracted and retained to create prosperity. Hopefully, over time, the term Magnetic Communities will be used as a catchphrase for local development strategies that attract and retain money.