What is economic development?
Economic development can be seen as the sustained, concerted actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. This may include development of human capital, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, social inclusion, health, safety, and literacy. Local governments can and should play a lead role in economic development, but private residents, community organizations, and regional interest groups also have an important part to play.
Who is this hub for?
This hub was created by AUMA primarily for elected officials and administrative staff in Alberta’s smaller communities, including our summer villages, villages, and towns. The Economic Development Resources Hub is essentially a support for municipalities that do not have dedicated economic development resources at their disposal.
How can working on economic development help my municipality?
Economic development initiatives will assist a municipality in meeting its growth and sustainability goals. A competitive, engaged, and knowledgeable municipality will be able to attract new businesses and residents, and crucially it will be able to meet the needs of its existing business community and retain that service in the municipality. A focus on development will help ensure the sustainability and viability of your municipality.
Why was this hub created? Can’t I find these resources myself?
The resources, tips, and assistance found below, including AUMA’s own toolkits, are available outside of the hub. However, our hub is a “one-stop shop” for economic development help, best practices, and initiatives. We have organized the hub resources into four categories. The first three categories reflect solutions to the most significant economic development barriers identified by our members in a fall 2015 survey:
- resources for a municipality hoping to either attract and retain business, or looking for information on how to assess the needs and wants of a municipality;
- resources for a municipality seeking to improve its economic development capacity, namely through its elected officials and administration’s increased knowledge and expertise;
- resources for municipalities searching for information on high speed broadband internet service; and
- funding options and proposal writing assistance to boost economic initiatives in communities.