Community economic development (CED) or local economic development (LED) is a community driven process where communities identify and initiate their own solutions to economic, social and environmental issues to build healthy, economically viable communities. CED contains principles and goals based on a grassroots approach to development where communities choose deliberate actions to influence the local economy and improve the quality of life for its residents.
Some examples of CED principles include:
- mobilizing local resources (people, capital, institutions, organizations, etc.) to meet local needs
- re-investment of profits into the local economy
Some of the goals of CED are to:
- Create employment.
- Renew, stabilize and/or improve the community and local economy.
- Develop local economic links.
- Improve the physical environment of the community.
Communities can adopt a process to incorporate the principles and goals of CED. This CED process includes the following steps:
- Form a CED agency/organization that is responsible for leading the CED process.
- Work with your neighbours in a region to address common development issues.
- Collect and analyze data to determine appropriate strategies and activities.
- Decide on a strategic focus based on the data analysis.
This can include a combination of strategies such as:
- business development (ex: local investment pool, business support services)
- local development (ex: beautification, zoning, industrial parks)
- human resource development (ex: local training initiatives)
- sector development (ex: business retention and expansion projects, supply chain gap analysis)
Communities can use the principles and goals of CED, adopt a good planning process and choose appropriate strategies to achieve the goals of CED. This means that community development, economic development and environmental sustainability are not left to chance but are directed by the people who live and work in the community.
Table of Contents
- What is Community Economic Development?
- The Economic Development Profession
- The Role of the Economic Developer
- Community Readiness for CED
- The Local CED Organization
- What are the key functions of a CDC or CEDO?
- Mobilize the Leaders
- Community Participation in CED