How to Write a City Economic Development Plan (Step-by-Step)

  • By: Tara Astbury
  • March 27, 2024

Ever wondered how cities plan to grow and improve their economic footprint? 

It’s all about crafting a smart strategy called a city economic development plan, which serves as a roadmap  cities use to make decisions to boost jobs, attract businesses, and improve overall happiness for the community. 

But how do cities actually make these plans? Read on to learn about the key steps necessary for crafting a city economic development plan.

What is a City Economic Development Plan?

A city economic development plan is a strategic document that outlines the city’s strategies and goals for fostering economic growth, creating jobs, and improving the overall prosperity within the municipality. The purpose of the plan is to provide a roadmap for government officials, businesses, and other community stakeholders to collaborate in shaping the economic future of the community.

How to Write a City Economic Development Plan

City economic development plans vary depending on the needs of the city or region, but they typically include the following components.

1. Assessment and Analysis

The first step to creating a city economic development plan involves assessment and analysis. Consider the current status of your city and what you hope to improve. Is there a decline in employment or population? Do you need to increase involvement in community activities? You may need to meet with your city council, so be sure you’re aware of the city council meeting procedures before diving in.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Your stakeholders will be part of the team creating your city economic development plan. If you already have stakeholders on board with your plan, you need to figure out how to communicate with them to get this plan off the ground. 

To effectively communicate and collaborate with your stakeholders, it’s important to consider their roles and expertise. This enables you to delegate tasks and ask for insight on certain aspects of your plan. You also need to understand what their involvement is in the city, what kind of influence they have on the community, and the relationships they have with city officials or other important figures. 

3. Goal Setting and Prioritization

Goal setting involves more than having an overall objective you wish to achieve, it also includes setting smaller goals to help you reach the larger goal.

Asking questions and gaining insight from your team will help you break your overall goal down into smaller objectives. 

4. Strategy Development

After you’ve set your goals and know what you want to prioritize, it’s time to develop a strategy regarding how you’ll achieve them. How can you get from one step to the next? 

Questions to ask when planning a strategy:

  • Who do you need to talk to?
  • Do you need a meeting with the city treasurer to ask for funds?
  • How can you use your stakeholders’ connections or influence?
  • What collaboration tools are necessary for your plan?
  • What else needs to be done before you can implement your city economic development plan?

5. Implementation and Monitoring

Now that you have a strategy for achieving your goals, it’s time to implement it. 

Once you begin to take action, you can also start to monitor results. This is where you begin to see what’s working, what else you need to do to achieve your goals, and how  to adjust your plan. Use a collaboration tool to help you communicate key information to the rest of your team, so you can come up with strategies to improve your plan. 

eScribe Powers Effective Cities

If you’re currently working on a city economic development plan, eScribe’s government meeting software can improve collaboration and streamline processes.

Prepare for meetings, communicate with your  stakeholders, and easily access and collaborate on key documents related to your city economic development plan.

eScribe features include:

  • A comprehensive archive: There’s no need to worry about losing notes or missing a meeting. eScribe keeps a record of everything in the cloud for easy access at any time.
  • Analytics: Meeting analytics deliver metrics to improve stakeholder engagement and improve preparation for you and your team.
  • Voting and Signing: When you need team members to vote on issues or ideas, eScribe enables seamless voting and allows you to sign and distribute documents.

Ready to see how eScribe helps municipalities streamline operations and enhance local governance? Check out the City of Greensboro Case Study.

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