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Economic Development Process

Growing Georgia Together

The path to growth and success can be tough to navigate. To help communities stay the course and reach their maximum potential, our team offers a collaborative Economic Development Process model that is built on five fundamental steps.


The most successful communities have committed, engaged leaders. The first, and most basic, step in the economic development process is to strengthen community leaders. When communities consider leaders to engage in the economic development planning process, it’s important to include stakeholders that bring a different perspective, innovative ideas and contagious enthusiasm. Community leadership is too important to be left up to chance; communities should be intentional about bringing together leaders who can help foster change and growth.


Strategy is a blueprint for community improvement. It takes strong leaders and a common sense of purpose to create an effective economic development strategy. Communities should think through their strengths and weaknesses, decide what solutions and improvements are needed and agree on how to achieve them. 


People move to communities for a better quality of life, more opportunities and the overall support they need to live their lives. They prefer efficient communities that provide high-quality schools, shopping and access to other amenities. Communities that offer a wide range of services are also the ones most likely to attract new economic growth and provide existing economic enterprises the best opportunity to flourish.


The most successful communities have committed leadership, a development strategy and a broad range of services. Making sure that local citizens and businesses are aware of a community’s assets and services is the next critical step. New and existing businesses want to feel confident that they’re choosing a community that offers the best opportunity for success. External marketing should be a well-coordinated, continuous and intentional effort by the community’s top leadership and their service providers.


Following each step of the economic development process leads communities to a wide variety of rewards – including some that can’t be measured in dollars alone. The rewards of a well-planned community and economic development program are financial – additional jobs and investment - but they also include a better quality of life. These rewards will spread throughout the entire community and benefit everyone. This is the bottom line of successful economic development: a better place to live for everyone.