Economic Development Incentives – Show them the money, but don’t let our competitors see it.

I was reading the latest posts on the International Economic Development Council’s ED|NOW blog tonight and a mention of a report from a group called Good Jobs First titled Show Us the Subsidized Jobs: An Evaluation of State Government Online Disclosure of Economic Development Subsidy Awards and Outcomes roused my interest.  In the report, states’ efforts to disclose economic development incentives and the return on the incentive investment are evaluated.  Tennessee was credited for recent improvements in their level of disclosure, but it ranked in the middle of the pack on the report’s scale of state subsidy disclosure scores in a tie with Massachusetts for 29th position.  North Carolina and Texas, both usually ranked high in industry recruiting success, were at 3rd and 7th, respectively, on their level of disclosure of state subsidies that provide incentives for industry growth and relocation.

Striking that balance of responding to citizens’ demands for more job opportunities and their need to be able to trust that incentives are used responsibly should be a concern for all economic development professionals.

About Daryl Phillips, CEcD

I am a professional economic developer. I presently work for communities and companies in developing and implementing workforce and economic development solutions as CEO of Phillips Economic Development Solutions (Phi EDS). Prior to September 2017, I was the economic development professional who served a community team of elected officials, business people, community leaders and dedicated stakeholders for economic development in Cheatham County, Tennessee (pop. 39,880) and its four towns. During my five-year tenure, I served the team as Cheatham County grew over 1,700 jobs, turned around population declines at the start of this decade into healthy population growth, increased tourism expenditures 20.3% and local tax revenue from tourism 25.4%, grew sales tax revenue 36%, focused on developing the local workforce and was recognized by SmartAsset as having the 9th highest Incoming Investment Index of all the 95 counties in Tennessee. I am a member of International Economic Development Council, Southern Economic Development Council, Tennessee Economic Development Council and International Council of Shopping Centers. I have earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from National Development Council and hold a Master of Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.
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