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How to Create a Vibrant Economy

Cities are struggling and jobs are leaving. How can a community rebuild itself into a robust local economy that's both a great place to live and has jobs for its residents? Here are 40 options anyone can do, without needing additional outside funding.

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How to Create a Vibrant Economy

  1. 1. Creating A Vibrant Local Economy “Shop, Invest & Act Locally” 40 things you could do now from The Mill Creek Center, LLC Hampton, VA Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  2. 2. Why a Local Focus? Keep More Local Money Local • Local shops keep 50% more revenue locally than do national chains • Local money used locally produces more local tax revenues for the same dollars spent – more services for less Attract More Tourist Money • An economy of boutiques, local menus and homegrown entertainment has a higher tourist draw than cities of chain stores and franchised restaurants found everywhere Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  3. 3. 1-Shop Local • Local growers often offer fresher food – Smaller carbon footprint • Local stores keep more money in the community – Studies show small shops generally generate more profit per sq ft than mega-stores – Local shops tend to pay higher wages and still remain profitable • If a local store goes out of businesses, the owners are more likely to stay and create another business, rather than leaving Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  4. 4. 2-Invest Local • Use a local bank or local credit union … but only if they have a track record of making loans to local firms, so it can use that money to loan to your neighbors • Buy stock in local companies • Support local ‘crowd-funding’ Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  5. 5. If you have investment cash • Make private loans to local businesses – More risky – not insured – Higher rates of return than… • Invest in local incubator companies • Join or create an investment club – Create cooperative angel capital • Support Community Capital initiatives Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  6. 6. 3-Act Local • Vote Local • Give Local • Volunteer Local Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  7. 7. 3a-Vote local • Be involved in local politics – Support candidates and policies that support and encourage local business • Sponsor local initiatives – Ask city and state officials to allocate a portion of the millions spent to import outside companies toward building local business – Support multiple local business incubators and entrepreneurship training • Advocate job growth policies – Incentives for investing in startups • Startups generate almost all net new employment – Business-friendly regulations • Easier to start local companies Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  8. 8. 3b-Give Local • Support local social service agencies with your contributions. – (why give to an out-of-state boys club if there’s a need here?) • Give regularly, throughout the year – Don’t wait for the year-end push • Give cash and items they can use – Saleable items (cars, boats, clothing, etc) – Office supplies, used computers, equipment – Food for fund-raisers and appreciation dinners Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  9. 9. Sponsor Local Scholarships • Give to local students who will enrich local economy – especially if attending a local college • Sponsor local students’ research projects – Small donations can fund science fair projects – A few thousand can sponsor a college student’s interesting research • Create company internships – They bring fresh skills and creativity – Generates good will and great press Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  10. 10. 3c-Volunteer local • Boys & Girls clubs, etc • Schools – Volunteer to help with enrichment clubs – Do in-school errands for teachers – Mentor classrooms • Service clubs – Community improvement projects • Mentor junior businesses Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  11. 11. Support Entrepreneurs (of all ages) • Younger entrepreneurs bring fresh ideas and new methods – Current programs focus on this group • Twice as many entrepreneurs over 50 than under 25* – Older entrepreneurs generally have more business operations experience* – Older locals more likely to stay local – Older entrepreneurs more likely to succeed* *Global Entrepreneurship Model 2010Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC
  12. 12. To Get Started • Engage with the community – And become a champion for your cause • Plan what you can do next month – And schedule it • Decide what you can do now – And do it For more information, contact me Copyright 2014, The Mill Creek Center, LLC