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Showing posts from January, 2014

Promise Zones: Highlighting Zoning and Incentives

The relationship between zoning and incentives is unique.

As mentioned before, zoning enables economic development. Zoning is also important for the designation of resources, such as incentives.

Recently President Obama announced the details of his new Promise Zones, a federal program that eases access for local governments to receive education grants and other resources.

Like any incentive, Promise Zones function in a this-for-that manner.

Most economic development incentives are structured to encourage private investment or a desired economic behavior (hiring a certain number of employees, investing a certain amount of money, making property improvements).

While most economic development incentives encourage private investment, Promise Zones encourage education investment in areas hardest hit by recession. For example, if a preschool for disadvantaged 3-4 year olds expands, federal grant money may be quickly awarded.

So far five Promise Zones have been designated: San Antonio, Los A…

Zoning Enables Economic Development

Zoning decides what types of land uses will go where. Zoning is what keeps large manufacturing plants from locating near quiet residential neighborhoods and shopping malls from locating inside office parks.  Economic development examines ways to best use zoning to a community's economic and financial advantage.
As a best practice, many municipalities encourage prospective businesses to make sure their tentative location is zoned for their intended use before they do anything else. Basically, don't buy a business permit, don't hire people, don't sign a lease with the property owner, don't renovate. Take no action until you know the location is zoned for your prospective use.
Zoning is necessary for a number of reasons. Among the top reasons, allotting parts of land for specific uses. This ensure cities have a healthy mix of housing, businesses, entertainment, and a variety of other purposes that best fit community needs, growth projections, and quality of life. 

Impacts of Cold Weather on Economic Development

With the recent polar vortex sweeping the northeast, midwest, and southeast, I figure it would be interesting to note the affects of the inclement weather on economic development, trade, and commerce.
Transportation- Roads close. People aren't as willing to drive if the roads are icy or slippery. Truck drivers and their employers delay their shipments until conditions are safer. Fewer trucks means fewer goods delivered. Trucks and passenger cars not moving means less production of goods and services.Airways- Flights (passenger and cargo) are often delayed due to inclement weather, domestically and internationally. Again this affects people's abilities to go to work and the delivery of goods and services.Railroads- Just like airways, cargo and passenger delays leads to potential supply shortages, lost sales, and travelers' inability to get to work.Schools- Maybe not true for most places, but in the southeast, everything closes at the mention of snow. Schools are typically th…

How to Determine Value

Taken from "What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School" by Mark H. McCormack. Written in 1984, I highly recommend every professional read it. Below is an excerpt taken from McCormack's chapter on marketing.

In determining the value of what you're selling, ask these questions:

How unique is it? Can they (the customer) buy it for less from my competitor? If so, are there some real qualitative advantages to my product?Can I sell it for more to their competition?How badly or how quickly do they need it?What would it cost to replace it?Are there any precedents that can help me?Is this a one time deal, or is this the future?If the price doubles, would people still be willing to buy it? Matthew

Goods and Services Explained

Any and everything that is exchanged, purchased or consumed is either a good or a service.

Goods are tangible, hard matter. For example, cars, houses, computers, shoes, and apples.
Services are just the opposite. For example, education, entertainment, haircuts, and law enforcement.
The two are closely linked: A chef prepares your meal. The chef's cooking is his/her service. A tasty meal is the good produced. We benefit from the production of the good and the service.
The exchange, purchase, or consumption of goods and services forms the basis of all financial and economic transactions.