"Economic development projects and conversations often are based on magical thinking and 30-year-old industrial attraction formulas rather than data about how the real world works now.

The pages of this section educate you about what is and is not worthy of public sector and business association support and effort. These efforts sometimes spend plenty of tax money and achieve very little of the promised job creation and business expansion.

This article will give you the analytical tools you need to determine what is worthwhile, what can happen solely through the force of a businessperson's perseverance, and what needs a little nudge from a government, private development organization, or public-private partnership.

Business retention and entrepreneurship support programs are easily the best economic development investment. Rather than producing those colorful expensive ads, your chamber of commerce should be concentrating on serving the economic base businesses that are there already, and developing a culture that supports new business ideas.

Too many economic development organizations and neighborhood associations think they need to devote major blocks of time and money to "marketing" and "branding" themselves, and then somehow, someday, the right people magically will notice them and relocate."

Read the rest of the Useful Community Development blog article here: Economic Development Realities