Identifying Your Community’s Strengths and Weaknesses
December 3rd, 2010
The strengths and weaknesses of your community determine the potential of your local economy to support economic growth. Understanding your assets and challenges lays the foundation for creating realistic expectations, goals and strategies for economic success that are unique to your community. Information about your community can also help build community support for economic development decisions, and help engage and educate constituents.
As a leader pay especially close attention to the weaknesses and threats in your community. Learn about characteristics in categories such as economic conditions, business climate, labor force characteristics, physical conditions, and quality of life (such as housing availability, public services, crime rate, educational system, cultural activities, recreational activities and natural resources). Pay attention to these factors in your community as well as how they relate to neighboring communities.
With an eye toward developing a strategy for economic growth, be prepared to answer the following questions:
What unique strengths can be built upon for continued economic growth?
What weaknesses pose a barrier to economic development?
How can those weaknesses be turned into opportunities for the community?
What consequences have the changing economic environment brought to your community and how can you sustain the existing business that continue to employ your citizens?
Looking to the future, where do you want to see your community grow and what can you do now to facilitate that growth?
How can you ensure your approval system for development projects is not cumbersome or administratively burdensome to business?
Prepare yourself to develop your economic development strategy by reviewing strengths and weaknesses, maximizing opportunities and mitigating threats.