An article in the International City/ County Management Association’s (ICMA) PM magazine describes a variety of strategies that communities may use to reach their economic development goals. Key strategies focus on either business development or community development. The key to success of these strategies is building community capacity through human, technological, and financial means. Local governments need to build relationships, partner, and actively engage business and community leaders to spearhead economic development initiatives. Local governments can attract business investment by developing and nurturing plans/strategies; advocacy; marketing; local leadership, team development, and professional capacity.
The article notes that are also more broadly defined economic development strategies. General economic development includes actions like recruiting new businesses and offering support to expanding local businesses. A sector-specific economic development strategy focuses on growth around a particular industry. For the purpose of economic progress, communities may develop marketing or branding strategies that focus on being attractive places to live or destinations for visitors or tourists. Value-added strategies seek to expand the range of products produced within an industry.