Smart Growth America is a national nonprofit that brings smart growth practices to communities across the country. We first told you about them in our post about their Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance opportunities. They are currently offering workshops for economic capacity building in their Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance program.
Place-Based Economies and Small-Scale Manufacturing
A place-based economy is one that focuses on what unique assets a locality already possesses, then leverages those attributes to help strengthen existing businesses and attract new ones. Small-scale manufacturing is an important part of place-based economies because local talent is a critical catalyzing agent. As Smart Growth America has pointed out, there is an increasing interest in buying local and spending money within one's own community. Those that benefit from this evolving trend want to return the loyalty and will live, invest and create jobs where they are appreciated. They help build bridges to further strengthen local networks. Since areas with many diverse small businesses are less vulnerable to financial downturns than those that are dependent on only a few industries or one major employer, the entire local economy becomes more resilient.
The Smart Growth America: Small-Scale Manufacturing and Place-Based Economic Development Technical Assistance Program
In partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Recast City, Smart Growth America will be offering free technical assistance to communities interested in exploring place-based economic practices to encourage economic revitalization. The applicants who are selected will be invited to a two-to-three day workshop, and given a customized action plan based on their own situation. Capacity building, identifying economic challenges, assistance with policy changes and coordination with city agencies and other stake holders will be emphasized.
Applying for the Technical Assistance Workshops
Eligible applicants are Native American tribes, local governments and units of local government such as economic and community development agencies and nonprofits. Apply by January 6, 2016.
Do you want to read more about how certain cities are becoming magnets for new residents, jobs and investments? The Amazing Place: Six Cities Using the New Recipe for Economic Development report details how Denver, Pittsburgh, Boise, Greenville, Minneapolis, and Nashville have pioneered smart growth and placemaking strategies to become communities people want to live and work in.