This guide, produced by the Making Connections Technical Assistance Resource Center, encourages low-income communities to engage in comprehensive planning processes that help uncover and leverage their often untapped resources, including strong labor forces, consumer markets and transportation assets. Strategies emphasize the importance of linking a range of community investment strategies together-- such as housing and commercial development, community facilities and new businesses-- to achieve a multiplier effect, as well as need to connect to regional economies.
Neighborhoods can work together to keep their consumer dollars closer to home
Findings & Stats
Getting Better Data
Market analysis using the Social Compact “drill down” method found population and spending power in one Washington, D.C. neighborhood was 51% higher than estimated by U.S. Census data.
Nationwide, 550 Community Development Financial Institutions provide small business loans, venture capital and banking services in very poor neighborhoods across the United States.
Community groups have strengthened their presence through sheer numbers while becoming increasingly savvy in building assets and forging new partnerships with the private sector.
Statements & Quotations
As community groups become data and market experts, they are playing a key role in leading investors to overlooked and underestimated inner-city markets. Retailers large and small, as well as start-up companies, are finding that urban locations are cheaper than the suburbs and that businesses are welcomed by an eager labor force and consumer base.
Increasingly, community groups integrate community development strategies with job training and other economic support programs … For example, local economic development groups may help residents secure jobs building and maintaining the residential and commercial properties they develop. Alternatively, these groups may work with companies in a particular subsector to secure needed capital and to design customized training programs for resident employees.
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